Seattle, USA — Greenpeace USA and activists from the Seattle group Mosquito Fleet blocked a barge from entering Kinder Morgan’s Seattle facility by locking themselves to the pier. Local kayaktivists also deployed a 9.75 x 22.55 metre banner on the water next to the facility that reads “NOT THEN” with a Shell oil logo, and “NOT NOW,” with the Trans Mountain logo. This week also marks the three year anniversary of the Paddle in Seattle protests against Shell’s oil drilling in the Arctic.
“Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline tramples on Indigenous rights, threatens communities and their access to clean water and the increased traffic from the pipeline could decimate marine wildlife including the 76 remaining Southern Resident orcas. Taking action today is my ancestral 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,” said Greenpeace USA activist and Seattle resident Samantha Suarez.
Today’s action comes only two weeks before Kinder Morgan decides if it will continue with its Trans Mountain expansion project. There has been uncertainty around the pipeline’s future, particularly in face of opposition by the British Columbia government.
Kinder Morgan and other oil companies like TransCanada and Energy Transfer Partners continue to face fierce opposition as people and groups in Canada, the US, the UK and Switzerland protest the impacts of oil pipelines on drinking water and wildlife and its contribution to climate change.
“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 policy makers alike that this project is toxic, and it will be met with increasing resistance on both sides of the colonial border.”
If Kinder Morgan expands the Trans Mountain pipeline as planned, waters in Washington state will see a seven-fold increase in oil tar sands shipments, resulting in a tanker superhighway down the US west coast. This increased tanker traffic threatens the endangered Southern Resident orca and could push the remaining 76 to extinction.
Kinder Morgan has faced a wave of opposition to its Trans Mountain expansion project including the “Shutdown Chase” direct action last week in front of the Russell Investment Center in Seattle, Washington, part of a nationwide protest of Chase Bank’s funding of tar sands pipelines.
Greenpeace is demanding twelve “dirty dozen” banks around the world, including Chase, to stop funding tar sands pipelines and stop funding Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, which is suing Greenpeace and others for USD$900 million dollars.
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