Search form

Donate Today


‘Valve Turner’ From Oregon Faces Trial in Washington for Pipeline Protest

June 2, 2017

An Oregon man is set to be tried Monday in a Western Washington courtroom after for turning off a pipeline that brings Canadian oil into the U.S. It’s his second trial for the shut-off; the first trial, in January, ended in a hung jury.

Ken Ward and four other activists shut down oil pipelines at the Canada-U.S. border in October 2016. Ward says they notified the pipeline owners ahead of time and filmed themselves.

“We are trying to create a public ruckus around the reality of what’s happening to our earth,” said Ward, a resident of Corbett.

Kinder Morgan owns the pipeline. It says inexpert pipeline shutoffs can endanger both the environment and communities.

Now, Ward faces felony charges of burglary and sabotage in Skagit County Superior Court. A conviction could carry penalties of up to $20,000 in fines and 20 years in prison. But Ward said, given the choice, he’d do the same thing again.

“Nonviolent climate direct action is the last thing that’s available,” he said.

Ward wanted to bring climate scientists before the court to argue that climate change is imminent and turning off the pipeline was therefore necessary, but the judge denied him that defense. So Ward says, if he’s found guilty, he’ll appeal.


The five climate activists arrested after shutting down Canada-to-U.S. pipelines pose for a photo. They were identified by Climate Direct Action as (left to right): Emily Johnson, Annette Klapstein, Leonard Higgins, Ken Ward, and Michael Foster.

There are 0 comments

Read Comments Hide Comments

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <xmp><em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd></xmp>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
As a public media organization, KCTS 9 is committed to presenting a diversity of voices and perspectives through the stories we produce. We invite our readers to participate in an active and respectful discourse through our comments feature. All comments are moderated before posting to our website; if we deem a comment to be inappropriate and/or threatening, it will not be published.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.