FORESTS OVER PROFITS!
The Forests over Profits mobilization held at the World Forestry Center in Portland Sept. 26-28 was a huge success! While capitalist investors and false solutions peddlers (we’re talking about you, biomass energy & carbon off-set speculators!) plotted how to make more money from forests at their "Who Will Own the Forest?" conference, hundreds of people gathered over three days to protest and also hold our own "Forests Over Profits" conference. Together, we shone the spotlight on financialized forestry and began a new era of anti-capitalist, decolonial forest defense. We’re just getting started!
Thanks to the folks who traveled to Portland and put in tons of time to make the event a success. (Thanks to our generous PDX home-stay hosts too!)
A special thanks to our Artivist team led by Joanie Kleban and to the Fireflies affinity group for showing up to engage, inform and disrupt.
For an inspiring one-stop-shop recap of the Who Will Own the Forest? Conference counter-protest and alternate conference, here’s the Coast Range Radio podcast that tells the tale.
Who’s Eugene’s Biggest Polluter?
According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s GHG inventory, the University of Oregon’s gas boiler system is now the single largest source of non-industrial climate-polluting emissions in the City of Eugene. Transitioning this outdated system to run efficiently on clean, renewable electricity will slash emissions, help the UO meet its climate goals, protect the health and safety of students and community members, and show the UO to be the innovative, forward-looking institution it claims to be.
UO students have been hounding the administration for 13 years to Get Off the Gas! Let’s support UO’s student-led Climate Justice League this fall to apply max pressure.
Turn out for the student demonstration at the EMU Green, at 13th & University on Tuesday, Oct. 24th at 5:15 pm
Meanwhile… the UO has created a Thermal Systems Transition Task Force, which has launched a survey to collect information and provide an opportunity for feedback on its climate action plan. Perfect!
Please take a minute to urge the UO to take strong action on climate & dramatically reduce emissions through a conversion of its gas system to an electric one. Take the survey here. (Here are some suggestions for your survey answers too!) Thank you!
Stay tuned for more info on Task Force hearings scheduled for Tue., Oct. 24th 6-7:30 and Thur., Nov. 2nd, 12-1:30 pm.
Over 100 organizations call on the current Oregon State Treasurer, Oregon Investment Council members, and candidates for Oregon Treasurer to create and support an effective climate risk action plan that includes these components:
-Ends NEW investments in fossil fuel
-Phases out all CURRENT fossil fuel investments while protecting returns
-Uses a JUST TRANSITION framework to reduce climate risk to frontline communities
-Requires annual release of a public list of ALL portfolio holdings
This campaign is heating up! Please sign the petition to the Oregon Treasurer & Oregon Investment Council and demand action!
FRACKED GAS RESISTANCE - GTNXP
House and Senate Republicans recently penned a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the nation's top energy regulator, calling for the immediate approval of the Gas Transmission Northwest XPress Project (GTNXP). The project would upgrade three existing compressor stations, increasing capacity on an existing system that has transported natural gas in decades old pipes.
This group was led by Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., and joined by fellow Oregon GOP Rep. Cliff Bentz, with four other House Republicans in Idaho.
While these “leaders” say that gas is better / cleaner than coal powered electrical plants, they are not listening to the latest science. Fracked gas is as bad or worse for the planet's carbon pollution problem than coal.
We must stop burning fossils if we are to have a liveable planet!
FERC, which is chaired by Willie Phillips, a President Biden appointee and Democrat, has delayed granting final approval for TC Energy to move ahead with construction in the project.
In July, FERC removed the project from its open meeting agenda and one day before that meeting, Democratic Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden wrote to the regulator, imploring it to reject the project. The commission again opted against discussing it during its following meeting on Sept. 21.
Send an appreciation email to Senators Merkley and Wyden for their stand against more dirty gas in Oregon!
Deb McGee - Fracked Gas Resistance Team Lead
SAVE THE DATE
Biomass pretends to be a clean way to generate electricity and dispose of “woody wastes” from our forests - it is anything but…
Webinar: Forest Biomass, Oregon and Beyond
Thursday, October 19th 5:00-6:15 pm
The biomass industry is looking to expand into the Pacific Northwest. Wait. What? More and more money is being allocated for thinning and logging in the name of wildfire safety. How are these related, and what does this mean for our wildlands, timberlands and rural communities?
As part of the Global Day of Action on Big Biomass on October 19th, the Sierra Club's Oregon Chapter Forest Team invites you to attend: Forest Biomass: Oregon and Beyond, a free webinar with Rita Vaughan Frost and Dr. Dominick DellaSala (from Phoenix, OR). REGISTER HERE.
Eugene has its own biomass business at Sierra Pacific Industries on Highway 99. Read about it here. Not a climate solution. Not good for the forest. Not good for our air.
How do we take care of ourselves so we can sustain effective action?
Here are two opportunities.
Fri., Nov. 3rd at 7:00 pm - A Celebration of Life for the Earth As We Knew It - A Community Grief Ritual - at First United Methodist Church (FUMC), 1376 Olive St., Eugene.
Music, images, words of reflection. Facilitated by Jenny Gordon, PhD & Rev. Dr. Karen Love Baisinger. Light refreshments to follow. Free and open to the public.
Sat., Nov. 4th - 9:00-12:00 pm - Deep Listening Circle: Climate Emotions - at FUMC.
“How might listening to what you feel guide your response to the existential crisis of our time?”
Programs sponsored by the FUMC Health Ministry Team and 350 Eugene. Suggested donation: $20-$60.
Eugene's first Beam Bright Parade was a big hit last Saturday night! 350 Eugene was there with our beautiful forest-themed salmon flags & lanterns, singing and chanting for our climate-saving forests! Thanks to everybody who turned out! Forest defense is climate defense!
Post-pandemic, things are picking up at 350.org. We have a new energetic national director, Jeff Ordower. There’s a new campaign emerging to make monopolistic utilities accountable to their ratepayers and not finance public relations campaigns that hinder a just & rapid clean energy transition. (Perfect for our Northwest Natural work!) There’s momentum and cohesion building across our movements. How are you plugging in? To change everything, we need everybody. See you in the streets!