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“A Thin Green Line with Global Impact”

“During a decade when Cascadia’s governments flouted their carbon emissions goals, activists fighting fossil fuel exports exceeded their wildest expectations.”

“SEATTLE — At the corner of Third and Union, amid a sea of downtown high-rises and just across from Macy’s, members of the Northern Cheyenne tribe in native regalia walked alongside Montana ranchers in cowboy hats. The ranchers’ forerunners occupied the same stretch of the Little Bighorn River where Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors crushed the infamous U.S. Army General George Custer. On this December morning in 2012, however, they made common cause.

First the Cheyenne and ranchers set out together to find breakfast. Then they walked to Seattle’s Convention Center to square off against a modern-day enemy with global reach: coal firms proposing to move mile-long-plus trains through the Pacific Northwest to be loaded on ships bound for Asia.

Their partnership went the distance. Three years after that hearing, the proposed Washington coal terminal was dead. Those trains bearing Montana and Wyoming coal never rolled.

Opponents’ victory in that case was emblematic of how environmentalists, Indian tribes, ranchers, politicians, doctors, fishermen and even windsurfers worked for a decade to fend off more than 20 proposals to ship fossil fuels across the Pacific, from near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, clear south to San Luis Obispo, California.”

Robert McClure reports for Investigate West January 18, 2021.