Do I have a real life David versus Goliath tale for you. Sit back, relax, and bask in a major victory that you made possible.
Opening scene: Tesoro Savage (Tesoro) announces plans for the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the nation. Cue the patriotic music and American flags. In explaining the safety of Bakken crude oil, Tesoro compares oil to “mother’s milk.” Zoom in on the cringing mothers in the audience.
Cut to scene two: Workers, parents, faith leaders, tribal members and nations, and many others come together to protect their way of life and the lifeblood of the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia River. At a rally, a local businessman is overheard saying: “Did you hear the federal government is not planning to do any environmental or public interest review for this project? No hearings or chance for the public to weigh in. This is absurd.”
The plot thickens: Tens of thousands of people blanket elected officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with petitions calling on the federal government to require a public interest permit and environmental review. Tribes demand a hard look at the project.
And cue the trumpets: Victory! The Army Corps hears the message loud and clear. In a stunning announcement from an agency that refused for over a year to require a public interest permit and environmental review for Tesoro, the Army Corps sees the light. On June 4th, the Army Corps issues a statement declaring its change of heart. Power to the people!
The Army Corps’ decision to require public input, in the form of a permit and environmental review for Tesoro, is a game changer. But our work is not over. We need to flood the Army Corps with letters, urging the agency to prepare an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement that examines how crude oil threatens our health, our climate, and our salmon. Click here and send a message to the Corps today.
What a story! We are one step closer to the ultimate win. Stay tuned later this month for public hearing dates, and the official start of the public comment period. In the meantime, celebrate!