Julie -- I appreciate Think Out Loud's interest in these very important issues and look forward to TOL's further coverage of the current legislative session in Salem.
You might be interested to know that there's another vital, but so far little-noted, environmental issue wending its way through committees in the House and Senate right now.
No fewer than five bills have been introduced this session to fast-track routing/permitting/siting/building Liquefied Natural Gas-related pipelines, like the proposed Palomar Pipeline that would rip through hundreds of miles of public and private farms and forest lands, including clear-cutting and bulldozing a 47-mile-long, freeway-wide swath through Mt. Hood National Forest.
These bills, which are each similar to one another, (some have slight variations,) are attempts to accomplish what big-money LNG backers and the politicians they bankroll failed to do in the last legislative session, with HB 3058.
That bill would have allowed wetland removal-and-fill permits for pipeline projects on private lands to be granted to applicants other than the landowners or their agents -- without the landowner's consent and even against the landowner's expressed wishes.
HB 3058 was blocked by citizen activists, environmentalist organizations (e.g., Columbia RiverKeepr, BARK, the Sierra Club, etc.,) individual landowners and property rights groups. Part of that battle involved controversy over two anti-LNG protesters (a friend and me) who picketed in front of a state representative's house -- apparently the first time anyone had done that in Oregon.
The resulting flap (Dave Hunt, the Speaker of the House, was so furious he reportedly threatened to block all environmental bills then being considered in the House,) split opinion among the anti-LNG forces. Some applauded the action and others condemned it, but it boosted awareness of the LNG fight and focused the glare of publicity on it (Ted Sickinger, for one, wrote about it in The Oregonian,) and helped block both the proposed Bradwood Landing LNG terminal on the Columbia River and HB 3058.
Now, however, the LNG shills are back -- this time with a strategy (those multiple bills, enactment of any of them could accomplish their aim,) that makes it difficult for opponents to track, testify against and defeat them. It's like being afoot in a bumper-car rink; it's tough to dodge 'em all.
We haven't given up, though. Some of us aren't young, (my picketing pal and I are both grandparents in our sixties,) but we're nimble.