More than a dozen environmental activists blocked a rail line at the Port of Vancouver Thursday, as they were trying to stop the transportation of pipes that would be used for the construction of a Canadian oil pipeline.
The group, Portland Rising Tide, is calling on government leaders to terminate the construction of Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project.
The pipeline currently carries crude and refined oil from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.
If the expansion is completed it will triple the pipeline’s capacity to nearly 3 million gallons a day and add more than 600 miles of new pipeline.
“There is a lot of awareness and knowledge now about the climate crisis that we’re facing,” Portland Rising Tide organizer Kelsey Baker said. “Extracting more tar sands and dirty energy from the ground and burning it is not the answer or the solution.”
Baker said the proposed pipeline route would also go through Indigenous peoples' land.
“We’ve seen a lot of public support, I think especially in the Pacific Northwest and along the West Coast. Folks are on the same page about not building anymore fossil fuel, dirty energy projects,” Baker said.
Activist Nick Haas said he wants Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to act now and switch to 100% renewable energy, including solar and wind.
“He ran for president under the guise of being very climate friendly, that was his entire platform, he needs to act like it,” Haas said.
Inslee’s office did not respond for a request for comment.
Port of Vancouver director of communications Heather Stebbings said her organization was aware of the protesters and was closely monitoring the situation. One of its primary responsibilities is to move cargo for customers and tenants.
No operations or shipments were affected by the protests.