Monday, April 13, 2009

Portland (OR) Alliance for Democracy sponsors films and speakers on nuclear cleanup and tar sands oil

by David Delk, Alliance for Democracy Portland chapter president

With an inceasing focus on the environment, the AfD Portland chapter sponsored two events at the end of March.

The first event was a screening of the video Arid Lands about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. In additon to the screening, we hosted Gerry Pollet, executive director of Heart of America Northwest, the chief organization based in Seattle which has worked for 3 decades to ensure the clean-up of Hanford. Hanford, in eastern Washington state, was the site of the development of the materials used in the bombs dropped on Japan in the last days of WWII. The waste from that activity as well as all that occurred since then is still on site. Almost none of it has been cleaned up.

In spite of that, the US Department of Energy is promoting a plan (Global Nuclear Energy Partnership) to double the use of nuclear energy in the US with Hanford being the most likely place where new waste will be bought for "recycling."

We collected names and contact info of attendee and have established a Google group for possible future action. If you want to be involved, please join the group at

On March 31 we welcomed Canadian author Andrew Nikifourik to talk about his book Tar Sands, Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent. A small but energized group attended his presentation. Canada is now the largest foreign supplier of oil to the US and most of that oil is from the tar sand fields of Alberta which Andrew described as a classic petro-state with an entrenched government which responds to the needs of the large multi-national corporations exploiting the fields and the environment. Tar sand production uses 3 gallons of water for each gallon of oil produced and that water is so polluted in the process that it can never be used again and is stored in open leaky pits. It is so energy intensive to produce this oil that the vast natural gas resources will soon be depleted. Plans are now on the drawing boards for building more than a dozen nuclear energy plants in order to continue production. And the need to transport the resulting oil to the US fuels the develoment of Super-Nafta highway systems.

Please join us in our ongoing actions and activitives on environmental issues. Vist our website at and/or contact David Delk at

Here's the trailer for Arid Lands:

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