Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Matt Landon speaks with Paul Roland on KBOO

Monitoring oil trains in Oregon and Washington

Host Paul Roland talks with Matt Landon of Vancouver Action Network on continuing efforts to halt the transport of dangerously flammable Bakken oil by train through the Pacific NW and to prevent the approval of the Tesoro-Savage oil export terminal on the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA, as well as the more recently proposed New Star Terminal.

Matt is working to bring the OilTrainWatch network, currently functioning in Washington, to Oregon, and is initiating a Listening Project to reach out to people living along railroad tracks where oil trains pass by.  OilTrainWatch uses Twitter to track oil trains moving through Washington (and now Oregon). If you see a 100% oil train, tweet the time, city, direction and #waoiltrainwatch (presumable #oroiltrainwatch for Oregon). For more information, visit More information on oil trains can be found at

The first meeting of the Oil Train Listening Project will be on Saturday, March 28. There will be a training in the morning, and then pairs of volunteers will go door to door later in the day. If you are interested, contact Matt at or (503)765-7176.
On Saturday, March 21, Olympia, WA will host the second gathering of railroad workers and environmentalists, "The Future of Railroads: Safety, Workers, Community and the Environment." Sponsored by Railroad Workers United and the Backbone Campaign, the conference will take place at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, 2700 Evergreen Parkway. Contact Jen Wallis at 206-755-9705,

For more, read
On Friday, March 20 Portland Rising Tide and the JustSeeds Artists' Cooperative will have an all-day workshop on art and activism,  at the PNCA Project Space at 511 NW Broadway (entrance West side of bldng)
As part of Gathering Autonomy: Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, the Creative Activism Lab will be coordinating a series of workshops and other programming to foster dialogue surrounding social justice issues addressed within Justseeds work, to ground those issues on a local level, and to make work that can support local actions and action networks.

Our March 20th workshop will focus on issues associated with climate change using Resourced (, a Justseeds portfolio, as a jumping off point. A group of Justseeds artists will speak about Resourced and other media they created for the People’s Climate March in NYC this past fall. Portland Rising Tide will then present on our current campaigns and actions. We will then all have a roundtable style conversation about what kind of tactical art we can create to best support upcoming action(s), and then, best of all, we will COLLECTIVELY MAKE REALLY COOL TACTICAL ART. Feel free to show up at any time for the duration of the workshop and join us!

On Wednesday, April 1, at 6 p.m., Join Eric de Place of the Sightline Institute for a program on "SW Washington: The Oil Industry's Sacrifice Zone" at the Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main St. in Vancouver, WA. de Place will moderate a panel including Lauren Goldberg, attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper; Vancouver City Councilor Anne McEnerny-Ogle; Barry Cain of Gramor Development; Cager Clabaugh of ILWU 4; Eric LaBrant of Fruit Valley Neighborhood Association; and a representative from Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. See southwest-washingtonthe-oil-industrys-sacrifice-zone/ for more information.

Finally, let your voice be heard at a public hearing on the proposed Propane Export Terminal in North Portland on Tuesday, April 7, 2:30 p.m. at the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission, 1900 SW 4th Ave. Room 2500a. Sign up to testify at 2:30 p.m. If you can't attend in person, submit your testimony in writing by 5 p.mj. Monday, April 6, by email to Or submit it by mail arriving by 5 p.m. April 6 to Portland Planning & Sustainability Commission, 1900 SW 4th Ave., ATTN-PSC, Portland, OR 97201.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

BNSF won't seek injunction to stop release of oil train info in Washington

100 requests

Several states, including Washington, refused to sign the agreements. Officials in Washington at one point had planned to post the information online, but backtracked after being told by the federal transportation department to treat the information as sensitive. The state then decided to require a public records request, after which it would notify railroads and grant them 10 days during which they could seek an injunction to block the release.

The Washington Military Department received more than 100 requests for the information, department spokeswoman Karina Shagren said. The majority of them came through a campaign by the advocacy group Vancouver Action Network, which has also led campaigns to count trains.

If BNSF indeed did not file an injunction before the close of business Monday, the state will release the information as public record. Two other railroads filed notifications with the state. Union Pacific informed Washington it does not move enough Bakken crude to meet the reporting threshold. The short-line Tacoma Rail carries some Bakken crude between BNSF lines and the Port of Tacoma. It had until Friday to seek an injunction and did not. The state released its notification online Monday afternoon.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

VAN mentioned in the Bellingham Herald, Our Voice

Thumbs up to an independent audit of TRAC

Vancouver Action Network, a group of community activists, has monitored the passage of crude oil trains in multiple locations in Washington, including Vancouver, Everett and the Columbia River Gorge.

Train spotters with the group use social media to post updates on train movements.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

VAN mentioned in The Herald of Everett, WA

Citizen oil-train spotters challenge railroad secrecy.

Snohomish County residents are not the only ones tracking trains. The Vancouver Action Network is keeping watch and spreading data and photos through online sites and social media. Oil train activists are planning a statewide summit in Olympia in August.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Matt Landon interviewed by Paul Roland on KBOO

Crude Awakening

Air date: 
Wed, 06/11/2014 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Short Description: 
Krogh is the author of "Off the Rails: The Fossil Fuel Takeover of the Pacific Northwest"

Guests on today's show:
Matt Krogh, ForestEthics West Coast Campaigner
Matt Landon, Vancouver Action Network
Dan Sears, Columbia Riverkeeper
Crude Awakening Tour: Music and Advocacy meet in the Oil
Train Show

Friday, June 13, at the 18 Ave Peace House, 2116 NE 18 Ave, Portland at
6pm for a potluck or come at 7pm for the program. $10-25 suggested donation; no one turned away for lack of funds.

Dana Lyons, Alternative Folk Singer-Songwriter, author of comedy hit “Cows with Guns,” coal train song “Sometimes,” and the recent “The Great Salish Sea," will join Matt Krogh, ForestEthics West Coast Campaigner, author of “Off the Rails: The Fossil Fuel Takeover of the Pacific Northwest” to present this evening of entertainment and education.

Oil train transport is growing rapidly, often with no public notice of the risks that come with this increase of traffic moving through communities. The Crude Awakening tour seeks to engage, entertain, and educate the public.

Two years ago in the Pacific Northwest, there were no terminals prepared to handle mile-long trains of crude-oil-filled tanker cars; today, four terminals are operating in Washington and Oregon, with six more in various stages of permitting and construction.

These terminals are designed to handle volatile Bakken crude, noted for exploding in the last year in North Dakota, Alabama and Quebec, where 47 people lost their lives, as well as bitumen from the Alberta tar sands, noted for sinking in aquatic environments and causing more pollution during extraction than any other form of oil. Add the push by the American Petroleum Institute to lift the ban on US crude exports and it’s clearly past time to address the question posed by the tour: Is this really for us?

Cosponsors: 350PDX, ForestEthics, Columbia Riverkeeper, Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Greenpeace USA-Western Division

Links and events mentioned on program:
Protests commemorating 1st anniversary of Quebec oil train disaster: (
See above link for info on Portland action July 6, or call 503-705-1943
Public Forum on oil train rail traffic in the Columbia Gorge:
June 16, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Riverside church, 4th and State, Hood River
Washington Oil Trains Summit, August 22-23, Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
For more information on oil by rail increases and more, see the report Off The Rails:The Fossil Fuel Takeover of the Northwest
More about Dana Lyons:
More about ForestEthics:
More about 350PDX:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

VAN Co-founder Matt Landon on Climate Justice Forum Radio Program

Climate Justice Forum: Matt Landon 6-9-14

Posted on June 9, 2014 by

The Monday, June 9, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Matt Landon, co-founder of the grassroots group Vancouver Action Network (VAN) in Washington. Matt will talk about VAN’s investigative and organizing work, including train spotting and documentation of potentially explosive Bakken shale oil rail shipments, Vancouver and regional resistance to associated proposed oil terminals, and efforts to build a state- and nation-wide movement with coordinated days of action. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers climate activism and dirty energy developments across the continent, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

VAN Featured in McClatchy Newspapers

Fight could be looming over secrecy of oil shipments by rail

Matt Landon, a co-founder of the group and a Vancouver resident, said his group has established some fairly consistent patterns: The trains heading to the refineries use one route and the empty cars get sent back via another. There’s at least one train every day.

Landon said his group posts its observations on Twitter so that neither emergency responders nor anyone else has to wait for notification from the railroad or the state.

“This allows the public to be involved in risk assessment,” he said.