Gayle Kiser and Sandy Davis
Landowners and Citizens for a Safe Community
In Gayle’s words:
“I was living my retirement life as a farmer and artist when I was drawn into action fighting to keep a liquefied natural gas pipeline from cutting our farm in half. The following four years introduced me to the best people I have ever had in my life. I was so impressed with the young staff at Columbia Riverkeeper that I accepted a seat on their board of directors.
“When I heard that coal companies were proposing to ship coal through our Columbia River ports to China, my first thought was of a global nature, mainly my concern with climate change. It was obvious to me that as the American public rejected new coal fired power plants, the companies had to find a new market in order to protect their bottom lines. However, further study showed what this could do to my town of Longview.
“As we educate the public to the fact that the threats posed by this facility far out-weigh the few jobs it would create, we find amazing support. People who are threatened by the spectre of coal dust coating their houses and causing breathing problems rushed to sign our petitions. Log truck drivers and their fellow workers in the industrial area, who would see massive traffic tie-ups caused by the coal trains blocking four major intersections, have joined us.
“We won our first battle, forcing Millennium to withdraw their initial application when it was revealed that they had lied on their permit papers. But as we join forces to repel some of the largest corporations in the world, we realize that the real battle is ahead. The solution is not to move the export facility somewhere else; the solution is to stop this madness.
“I will fight until the end on this one. My goal is to leave a better world for my grandchildren, and maybe a legacy for them to follow.”
In Sandy’s words:
“In 2006, my quiet retirement life in Longview was suddenly interrupted by a letter in the mail notifying my husband and me of a proposed natural gas pipeline and easement that would take three to five acres of our land. The easement would put huge restrictions on our property and the pipeline would be a large, high-pressure, and non-odorized transmission line. This was not to be, if I could help it.
“I quickly found that there were many more concerns besides our property. This project would impact precious salmon habitat and wetlands along the Columbia River. There were many Washington and Oregon people who were as concerned about the environmental impacts as we were. Soon our local Landowners and Citizens for a Safe Community group was formed. As we grew, we became a force with experience, knowledge and determination. My reward in this battle was not only stopping the pipeline and LNG terminal, but also an awareness that people’s voices really do have power.
“Knowing that we can make a huge difference in improving the future of all of our lives has helped spur me to fight a proposed coal export facility in Longview. This coal export facility will devastate our community, our health and the future economic progress of our area. We must protect our drinking water, our soil, and our air. We must ask ourselves, what kind of environment do we want our children and grandchildren to inherit. I vote for a better one.”