WHAT: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. leads a noon rally in Portland to expose controversial plans that threaten Oregon and Washington with highly polluting coal exports. A strong proponent of clean energy and a vocal critic of the coal industry’s environmental, health, and safety record, Mr. Kennedy adds a national voice to the growing chorus of concern about coal exports.
Oregonians from around the state will gather in Portland to shed light on the impact of several dirty coal export proposals on the health, environment, and values of the Pacific Northwest. Guaranteed to be Oregon’s largest demonstration against coal exports yet, the rally will feature compelling stories, colorful banners and artwork, surgical masks to represent the health impacts of coal, and a call for environmental justice. Hao Xin from Zhejiang Province, China, will present the international perspective on why coal exports are wrong for families in the United States and China. Speakers include:
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman Waterkeeper Alliance, Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Hudson Riverkeeper
Paul Lumley, Executive Director Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, citizen of the Yakama Nation
Chair Jeff Cogen, Multnomah County
Hao Xin, Executive Director, Green Zhejiang, Qiantang River Waterkeeper
Toni Montgomery, Grandmother, Vancouver resident currently impacted by coal trains
Andy Harris, M.D.,Advisory Board, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Lauren Goldberg (emcee), Clean Water Attorney, Columbia Riverkeeper
***ATTENTION TV ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: GREAT VISUALS***
Climate activists, health professionals, and business leaders with large colorful banners and artwork. Participants will put on surgical masks to highlight health impacts of coal. 60-foot banner "Oregonians Say No To Coal Exports" will travel to the pedestrian expanse of the Steel Bridge after the rally.
MR. KENNEDY WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING RALLY.
WHY: Coal companies are targeting the Pacific Northwest with six separate coal export terminals, which would send stunning volumes of U.S. coal to Asia. Oregon and Washington could become the largest coal traffickers in North America with 150 million tons of coal per year through the Pacific Northwest. One proposal would send a dozen dirty coal trains rumbling through Portland neighborhoods each day. The Columbia River Gorge alone faces up to 30 dirty coal trains per day. Proposed coal export terminals include: Boardman, Clatskanie, and Coos Bay, Oregon; Longview, Grays Harbor, and Bellingham, Washington; as well as Alaska.
The nation’s eyes are on us as our region decides between coal trafficking and a clean energy future.
Mr. Kennedy will also highlight work by local Waterkeeper groups.
POWER PAST COAL: We are a growing coalition of organizations sharing a common interest to prevent the West Coast from becoming a high volume coal corridor. Learn more about coal export at www.powerpastcoal.org
WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE: Founded in 1999 by environmental attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and several veteranWaterkeeper Organizations, Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect over 100,000 miles of rivers, streams and coastlines in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.