Record # AF/146484. Police Historical/Archival Investigative Files – Forelaws On BoardRecord # AF/146484. Police Historical/Archival Investigative Files – Forelaws On Board

Marbet Talks Back to Assertions from This Surveillance of Trojan Hearings

Lloyd Marbet decided that hearings were a good place to share his concerns about nuclear technology, so he started showing up to the Trojan hearings in 1972. He had no idea that the police were surveilling him at these hearings. An important part of the Watcher Files project is to hear what some of the people surveilled have to say back to the files, so that their voices enter the records. Here is how Marbet talks back to the certainty voiced in the document that he possessed the components for a bomb:

I had a big bushy heard. I had hair down to my shoulder. I was a big guy. I had a pick up truck. I liked going up into the mountains. I had this old mutt, Easy. I loved my dog. I had a gas can because when I went up into the woods I didn’t know if I’d have enough gas to get back. There were probably some wine bottles in the back of that car because you get out into the woods having a good ol’ time and you might want a little wine. Rags? Yeah, there were rags lying around because I always trying to fix the damn truck.

I didn’t realize that they’d take a look at my old mutt, the dog, and turn him into a German Shepherd. I had no idea that they were looking in the back of my pick-up truck and seeing these empty wine bottles and then seeing some rags and then seeing that gas can and—lo and behold—there’s all the ingredients for a Molotov cocktail. I had no idea they cooked that stuff up. It was not my nature, not where I was coming from.

While those hearings resulted in PGE siting Trojan about 70 miles from Portland, the board of directors decommissioned it two decades later after the Union of Concerned Scientists published a government document reporting Trojan had a faulty steam generator. Activists, including Marbet, had fought for years to shut down Trojan through many means—hearings, ballot measures, and direct action.

While it took twenty years to shut down Trojan, Marbet translated his experience at these Trojan hearings into a dogged attention to administrative law, helping prevent PGE from building the Pebble Springs nuclear plant in Arlington along the Columbia Gorge.