For immediate release, July 24, 2017
Contact: Patrick McCully, Rainforest Action Network - 628 224 8168
Isabella Zizi, Idle No More SF Bay - 510 932 0978
For High Resolution Photos, please contact Christopher Herrera at firstname.lastname@example.org
Action Alert: Monday, July 24, 7:30 a.m.
1306 Canal Blvd, Richmond, CA 94804
Protesters Blockade Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal
Demanding Halt to Trans Mountain Tar Sands Pipeline
Richmond, CA - Protesters blocked three gates of the Kinder Morgan Richmond Terminal this morning, securing themselves to oil barrels and a 12-foot-long mock oil pipeline that reads “No Consent. No Pipeline.” The local activists are demanding that the company halt its new Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada. The controversial project would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Edmonton, Calgary to Burnaby, British Columbia to 890,000 barrels per day — facilitating increased extraction of tar sands oil, one of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels.
“It’s important for me to stand up today for my indigenous brothers and sisters of the First Nations,” said Isabella Zizi of Idle No More SF Bay. “This crude tar sands oil will not just be affecting those up in Canada. It will likely be transported to the West Coast and potentially to here in my hometown of Richmond. Our lands, our waterways and our air needs are constantly being overlooked by these industries. We, as indigenous people, cannot and should not be swept under the rug. If any of these elements are harmed, all life will suffer the consequences.”
Kinder Morgan, a spin-off from Enron, is one of North America’s largest energy infrastructure companies. The company claims it will start construction on its 715-mile Trans Mountain pipeline in September despite fierce opposition to the project from numerous First Nations and other communities and cities along its path. The recently elected government of British Columbia also opposes the project.
Oil from the Kinder Morgan pipeline would be loaded onto oil tankers in Burnaby. This would lead to a massive increase of tanker traffic in the waters of the Pacific Northwest - and potentially in San Francisco Bay. Any spills of tar sands crude would be nearly impossible to clean up because when tar sands oil spills in water – it sinks. Refining the tar sands crude in Richmond would worsen air pollution in local communities.
“We are already over-taxed when it comes to pollution in our community and toxins in our bodies,” said Andres Soto of Communities for a Better Environment. “Kinder Morgan doesn’t care about their workers. They’re making them sacrifice their health and the health of their families in order to put food on the table. We demand clean jobs for our community. We refuse tar sands oil.”
"We are determined to prevent the pursuit of extreme energy from destroying our communities, natural systems and climate, therefore confrontational protests like this action are necessary for change,” said Corazon Amada, an organizer with Diablo Rising Tide. Amada was one of several activists who were risking arrest during this peaceful protest. “We stand in solidarity with those everywhere fighting to stop Kinder Morgan."
Last month, over 28 major banks were warned not to finance the expansion project in a letter signed by over 20 Indigenous and environmental groups. The letter cites The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion’s call for an international campaign to divest from any financial institution that funds Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. More than 130 Indigenous Nations have already signed the The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion.
“The banks that are financing Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline are violating Indigenous rights, clean water, clean air and the climate,” said Patrick McCully, Climate and Energy Program Director at Rainforest Action Network. “We intend to hold these banks accountable. And our primary target is JPMorgan Chase, the largest Wall Street funder of tar sands .”
Diablo Rising Tide is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Rising Tide North America. Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer grassroots organizing network in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico who confronts the root causes of climate change with non-violent direct action and grassroots organizing and education. You can find out more at www.diablorisingtide.org.