15 May 2018 (SEATTLE / VANCOUVER) — Today, Greenpeace USA and Mosquito Fleet activists blocked an oil barge from entering Kinder Morgan’s Seattle facility by locking themselves to the pier.
Local kayaktivists supporting the blockade from beside the facility have deployed 32-foot by 74-foot water banner that reads “NOT THEN” with a Shell Oil logo, and “NOT NOW,” with the Trans Mountain logo — highlighting that Kinder Morgan now faces the same resistance that helped defeat oil giant Shell’s Arctic drilling plans almost exactly three years ago by challenging Shell’s use of the port of Seattle to host its Arctic drilling vessels.
“Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline tramples Indigenous rights, threatens communities and their access to clean water, and the increased tanker traffic from the pipeline could decimate marine wildlife including the 76 remaining Southern Resident orcas,” said Greenpeace USA activist and Seattle resident Samantha Suarez. “Taking action today is my responsibility so that the next generations know what an orca looks like. We have to stand up to these companies and say enough is enough.”
Against a backdrop of mounting resistance, today’s activity comes just two weeks before Kinder Morgan is set to determine whether or not it will abandon its controversial Trans Mountain expansion project.
“Today’s action shows that the resistance to Kinder Morgan’s tar sands tanker superhighway continues right down the coastline. From Vancouver and Seattle in Coast Salish territories to San Francisco, we stand united in our love for this coast and our commitment to protect it from the dangers Kinder Morgan would bring. If Justin Trudeau breaks his promises and uses our tax dollars to bail out a Texas company’s failing pipeline and tanker project, he’ll be investing in a pipeline that will never get built and is facing an international movement of resistance on both side of the border,” said Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Canada, from Vancouver.
Seattle kayaktivists also took to the water in March, just days after Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced his support for the B.C. government in its opposition to Kinder Morgan’s new pipeline. If Kinder Morgan’s project were to go ahead, the waters of the Salish Sea just off B.C. and Washington would see a seven-fold increase in tar sands tanker traffic, creating an oil tanker superhighway down the West Coast.
“We’re taking action today to protect our waters, our communities, and our climate from Kinder Morgan,” said Mosquito Fleet kayaktivist and local resident Kara Sweidel. “This is just the beginning. As long as they pursue this pipeline, Kinder Morgan has nowhere to hide. We’re here to show investors and policymakers alike that this project is toxic, and it will be met with increasing resistance on both sides of the colonial border.”
Kinder Morgan and other pipeline companies like TransCanada and Energy Transfer Partners continue to face protests, legal challenges from impacted communities and Indigenous Peoples, negative international press, and delays. More than 200 people have been arrested resisting Kinder Morgan in the past two months. In April, Greenpeace UK confronted Prime Minister Trudeau with a protest outside the Canadian High Commission in London. Days later, HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, announced it would stop funding new tar sands projects.
This Sunday, May 20th, hundreds of people from across Washington and Oregon are expected to hold a mass day of action, in Seattle, to protest the pipeline, including a local rally and a kayaktivist flotilla surrounding Kinder Morgan’s facility.
Photos will be here, when available:
Follow live updates:
For interviews with the activists:
Cassady Craighill, Greenpeace USA, 828-817-3328
For additional updates and requests:
Jesse Firempong, Greenpeace Canada, 778-996-6549, firstname.lastname@example.org