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WA Climate March Focuses on Local Environmental Fights

Protesters in Saturday's People's Climate March oppose a proposed coal terminal on the Columbia River in Longview. (Sam Beebe/Flickr)
Protesters in Saturday's People's Climate March oppose a proposed coal terminal on the Columbia River in Longview. (Sam Beebe/Flickr)
April 28, 2017

KALAMA Wash. – People across the country are organizing Saturday for the People's Climate March, which will coincide with Donald Trump's 100th day in office. Sister marches are taking place in nearly every state, and in Washington state the marchers will be highlighting local fights to protect the environment.

Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, a senior organizer with Columbia Riverkeeper, says protestors will be in cities along the Columbia, pushing back against proposals that could harm the river.

"The Columbia River is the bullseye for the fossil-fuel industry right now," she says. "Vancouver is home to a proposed oil terminal that would be the nation's largest oil terminal. The methanol refinery in Kalama would be the world's largest methanol refinery, and the coal terminal proposed in Longview, Wash., would be our nation's largest coal-export terminal."

Nearly 20 marches are scheduled across the state. The People's Climate March began in 2014 on the eve of the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement.

A march in Aberdeen will highlight the recent victory over a proposed oil terminal in nearby Grays Harbor.

Tammy Domike is a community organizer with the group, Citizens for a Clean Harbor.

"It's been our alliance with the Quinault Indian Nation that has allowed us victories so far," she says.

The Aberdeen march begins at 1 P.M.

The protests also will focus on jobs, with many labor organizations involved in the marches. Much of the support for proposed fossil-fuel terminals comes from their ability to create jobs for the local community. Zimmer-Stucky says she wants to see more jobs created in the Northwest, but not at the expense of people's health.

"We don't want to see fossil-fuel investment in the communities," she adds. "We want to see investments in clean, new, innovative technologies."

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA