“There is this very unique place on Earth, the Pacific Northwest. It’s either about to become steamrolled by coal and oil heading from North America to foreign shores, or it is going to stand up in an opposition movement and prevent those projects from happening.” Those are the words of Sightline senior policy director Eric de Place summarizing the two paths laid out before Cascadia right now. He opens an hour-long radio documentary by Portland journalist Barbara Bernstein about the powerful citizen resistance movement, the “Thin Green Line,” that has grown over the last several years to oppose coal, oil, and gas schemes across the region.
Bernstein paints a vivid picture, interviewing leaders from several communities who have devoted years of their lives to this effort. They include Dan Serres, Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, and Brett VandenHeuvel of Columbia Riverkeeper; Jared Smith, president of the Vancouver longshoremen’s union, ILWU Local 4; Kathy Sampson-Kruse of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; Eric LaBrandt of the Vancouver Port Commission; Charlie Hales, former mayor of Portland; and Nick Abraham, communications manager of Washington Conservation Voters and former Sightline fellow.
Listen to the full documentary, “Sacrifice Zones,” on KBOO’s website.
We in the Pacific Northwest are losing our salmon and orcas. Fighting fossil fuels is only a portion of the fight. We cannot allow our fight to justify not breaching the four lower Snake River dams. They are not flood control dams and they are leeching money from our economy that could go toward many other problems (public schools, wildlife crossings, high speed rail).