Stand Up to Oil

Religious leaders around the state are opposed to oil-by-rail projects and fossil fuel terminals that are built on unstable land in populated areas. The ongoing threat of oil spills, the frustration of traffic tie-ups, the expense to local businesses, and most of all, the terrible risk of oil train derailments and explosions mean that these projects are not good stewardship of our communities, land, and water. We know we can do better. 

Photo credit: Paul K. Anderson

The Risks are Real
Devastating oil train explosions occur with terrible regularity. Shale oil fracked in the Bakken lands of North Dakota is pulled from so deep in the Earth that natural gas is still dissolved in it, making it extremely dangerous. Tar Sands oil from Canada is also highly explosive. There is little insurance to cover the risk of explosions, and cities and towns have learned they are on their own for clean-up. The costs from routine oil spills is high, but costs from a catastrophic accident are unimaginable. It’s not worth it.

Leaving a Legacy for Our Children
Destructive industries say that oil terminals will create local jobs, but in fact these projects will poison our air and water and cost jobs in fisheries and tourism. A healthy, deep water port and shoreline are extremely valuable assets that we need to preserve for future generations.

Great blue heron in Grays Harbor

Photo Credit: Frank Fujimoto

 Letting those assets be sacrificed for short-term profit will leave the community much poorer in the long run. It is far better to develop sustainable industries that will protect intact ecosystems and create a more robust economy. Basing an economy on oil is not good stewardship of God’s creation nor good for long-term prosperity.

Religious Communities Say
"We Can Do Better"
There are many ways to build a healthy community. Because of the danger of oil train accidents locally and climate change globally, creative businesses are looking for alternatives to fossil fuels and their dirty pollution. Last year, many more jobs were created in wind energy than in coal. The technology to create renewable energy is cheaper and more available each year.

Protecting our one and only planet by reducing pollution and supporting a just transition to a clean energy economy is the best way to address the problem of climate change head-on. Religious leaders believe in holding polluters accountable while promoting homegrown, local energy sources.


Pastor Erik Wilson-Weiberg Speaking at BP Hearing 7.24.14


News and Events

Two Perspectives on the Delta 5 Trial

In September 2014 Earth Ministry member, Abby Brockway and four other people chained themselves to a tripod over a train track used for oil trains on the BNSF line. They were arrested for trespassing after many hours on the tracks. Abby joined the group, now known as the Delta…
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Want to Stop Oil Trains? We Have Work to Do!

Rev. Richenda Fairhurst was the dynamic MC of the rally at last week’s oil hearing in Vancouver, WA. Her enthusiasm and hope energized the crowd who came together from across the state to stand up to big oil’s proposal for the largest facility in North America.  By Rev. Richenda…
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Comment on North America's Largest Proposed Oil-by-Rail Facility

This comment period has closed and the Stand Up to Oil Coalition gathered a record-breaking 276,296 comments! Thanks to faith advocates for speaking up. Big oil is threatening Vancouver, Washington, and rail communities along the Columbia River. According to the Vancouver Columbian, Tesoro and Savage…
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Grays Harbor: "First oil hearing garners large opposition"

People power dominated the first public hearing on the proposed oil holding facilities in Grays Harbor County. Earth Ministry staff and members attended this hearing to represent moral concerns about the poor stewardship of these dangerous projects. Outreach Coordinator, Jessica Zimmerle, is quoted below. By Kyle Mittan The…
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Officials hear overwhelming opposition to crude terminals

An account of Aberdeen’s public hearing on proposed oil holding facilities at which community members raised their voices against these dirty and dangerous projects. YOU can submit a comment here through the end of October.  By Jake Schild and Kyle Mittan The Daily World October 9, 2015  Locals and…
Read More »

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Further Resources

People of Faith are Standing Up to Oil Earth Ministry handout

Factsheet and talking points specifically addressing the Grays Harbor DEIS

Learn how to prepare a comment for an oil public hearing with this easy webinar

"First oil hearing garners large opposition" October 2, 2015 in the Aberdeen Daily World

Stand Up to Oil Coalition Webpage