By an act of geography, the Pacific Northwest finds itself in the crosshairs of becoming a major fossil fuel export hub. One day, while giving a lecture, Eric de Place, with Sightline Institute, coined the term “The Thin Green Line” to describe the predicament this region finds itself in, as well as the opportunities it provides.
Here’s what Eric has to say about the Thin Green Line:
“The Pacific Northwest stands squarely between the most voracious energy markets in the world and huge fossil fuel deposits in the interior of North America—Powder River Basin coal, Bakken shale oil, Alberta tar sands, and remote natural gas fields. Big energy companies plan to unearth these vast reserves of carbon-intense fuels and put them up for sale in Asia.
If they are successful, these energy firms will unleash the carbon equivalent of roughly five Keystone XL Pipelines. But to get their products to market, energy companies first have to build new terminals and pipelines to move all that fuel. They need destinations for the scores of oil and coal trains that they plan to run across the Northwest, and they need right-of-ways to lay new pipelines.
In short, they need our permission.”
So, what we’re doing here in the Northwest as we fight off coal, oil and gas projects of many varieties, is holding the thin green line.