NW Portland: 100 people gathered in protest this afternoon at Arc Logistics, Portland’s only crude oil-by-rail terminal. Five activists risked arrest by sitting directly on the rail tracks to prevent an oil train from reaching the oil terminal. Information leaked from a worker at the facility revealed that due the controversial protest, oil shipments had been halted for the day. Protesters, including those blocking the tracks have dispersed peacefully.
The general attitude towards climate change, the most widespread and pressing environmental issue, is a mixed one.
There is a consensus among scientific organizations and communities that the Earth is changing its climate. At the planetary level, temperatures are rising, meteorological phenomena are becoming more severe and chaotic, and behind these changes is human activity.
With essentially no public involvement or regulatory proceedings, the ArcLogistics terminal began operations in January of 2014. This was possible because the site did not require construction, and thus a permitting process, like other controversial fossil fuel infrastructure projects in the region. It operates under modified permits issued to the facility’s previous owners, who were in the business of producing asphalt.
An estimated 1,500 activists from across the Northwest gathered at the site of two oil refineries in Washington state demanding action to combat climate change. The two-day blockade of the railroad tracks leading to the Shell and Tesaro refineries in Anacortes began on Friday. Hundreds of activists indicated they are willing to risk arrest and engage in peaceful civil disobedience to push for a just transition toward a more sustainable economy.
Continuous society development is essential for maintaining competitiveness in the competitive economy of Portland. The efforts that companies, tiny and medium-sized ones, make to remain relevant in the fields in which they operate are related to finding the necessary financing solutions in the development of the economy. Enthusiasm, the ability to innovate, the vision of market trends are not enough to evolve.
In July of 2016, Portland General Electric built the Carty I gas-fired power plant in rural Eastern Oregon to meet Portland’s power needs. This was less than a year after the city banned new fossil fuel infrastructure within its limits. Now, PGE is going through the permitting process for two more gas-fired power plants in the same location. As coal-fired power is retired in Oregon, it is being replaced with natural gas. Fracked gas does just as much or more climate damage as coal, and any new fossil fuel infrastructure commits us to catastrophic emissions.
Brown stated “The legal right of eminent domain is government’s right to take private property for public good. I wouldn’t seize a federal agency office without good reason unlike, for example, FERC’s willingness to give multi-national corporations the power to use eminent domain to build export pipelines for corporate profit. In this case, it is in the clear public good of the state of Oregon to use my power as governor to oppose FERC’s rubberstamping of destructive pipeline projects.” A broad coalition of Oregonians across the state object to FERC’s September 30th approval of a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Pacific Connector Pipeline Project and Jordan Cove liquefaction plant in North Bend and to the plans for the Oregon LNG project in Warrenton.
Starting with 2021, the state budget will provide expenditures for climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. Central public institutions will develop a communication network, which will increase the knowledge of specialists in the field and aim to plan expenditures for investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.
In May of 2016, dozens of activists were arrested after blockading a train track heading to the Tesoro oil refinery outside of Anacortes, Washington. This action held the tracks for 36 hours and was coordinated with an international series of actions known as Break Free. You can help with their legal costs by donating here
It seems like just about every week Portland is receiving some sort of new award or recognition for sustainability. We certainly built up a legacy of ecological awareness early-on. Tom McCall, our republican governor in the 60’s and 70’s, advocated for protecting the Commons and cleaning up our watersheds and airsheds. Portland was also ahead of other cities in the West in its commitment to smart urban planning and transportation justice. It only makes sense that Portland is ground zero for the climate fight, but maybe not for the reasons one would think.
There are two crude oil distribution terminals in Oregon: the ArcLogistics facility in industrial Northwest Portland, and Global Partners’s facility in the Port Westward industrial park, north of Clatskanie. Both offload oil from trains, store it, and transfer it to oceangoing ships, which make their way to refineries on the West Coast.
Having trouble keeping track of all of the oil, gas, and coal export projects in the Pacific Northwest? Download the PDF version of Portland Rising Tide’s comprehensive guide to all of the fossil fuel madness happening right here in our own backyard.
On September 2, 2014, Pembina, a Canadian oil company with heavy investments in the Alberta tar sands, announced plans to build a liquefied propane (LPG) export terminal at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6 on the Columbia River. LPG is the by-product of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”.
As part of Gathering Autonomy: Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, the Creative Activism Lab will be coordinating a series of workshops and other programming to foster dialogue surrounding social justice issues addressed within Justseeds work, to ground those issues on a local level, and to make work that can support local actions and action networks.