About 50 people from around the region marched to the Shell Puget Sound Refinery on Sunday to protest the refining of tar sands oil here and send a message that Puget Sound and the rest of the environment are at risk.
Carrying signs with messages such as “Shell No — No Extreme Energy,” “Tar Sands = Bad Gas,” and “End Corporate Rule,” the group make the short walk from the March Point Park & Ride down March Point Road to South Texas Road at about 11:30 a.m.
Heather Trim, policy director for People for Puget Sound, spoke briefly about the impact more tanker traffic could have on the Sound and the need to better protect fish and shellfish resources.
The group, watched by Anacortes Police, the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department and the Swinomish Police Department, then matched up South Texas to the refinery gate for more speeches.
Emily Johnston, one on the event organizers, said the march was inspired by 350.org, which encourages people to do their own thing to protest climate change.
The group’s Web site says it is building a global grass-roots movement to solve the climate crisis, with mass public actions led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in more than 188 countries.
Sunday was a Climate Impact Day, with events such as the march to the Shell refinery planned around the world.
“So many of us try to do the right thing — consuming less, insulating our houses, limiting car and plane travel — but as a society, we’ve looked the other way for so long that our personal choices will be quixotic if we don’t work for immediate and meaningful action at the political level,” Johnston said in a press release. “Moving to ‘extreme energy’ like tar sands oil or fracking to support society’s business-as-usual is a travesty of logic, and the consequences get worse every day that we don’t use our ingenuity to work with the earth’s natural systems rather than treating it like a bottomless and indestructible ATM.”
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