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Portland City Council Passes Fossil Fuel Resolution!

 
 
11050749_504004736433693_9044702273345379519_oOn Nov. 12, 2015, the City of Portland took the national lead on climate policy by passing a strong resolution to oppose the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. This landmark resolution will direct city staff to develop rules that lead Portland away from new fossil fuel projects like coal, oil, and propane terminals, and toward a clean energy future. By passing a strong fossil fuel policy, Portland is the first City on the Columbia River to address all fossil fuel projects head-on in a meaningful, binding way! 

Portland passed a second resolution specifically opposing oil trains rolling through our region on November 4, 2015.

The city council meeting were packed with hundreds of folks in support of these resolutions, and of course were preceded by years of action against fossil fuel projects in the North West. The fight for a clean energy future is not over, but this is a step in the right direction! 

For more information, watch this short video by Balance Media. 

 
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Mapping the Portlandia Fossil Fuel Corridor

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.

While we’ve been told by City Hall and the media that we’ve already won the struggle for a greener future here in Portland, the reality is even more twisted and dangerous than the fossil fuel metropolises of Calgary or Houston. While the dream of Little Beirut fades to the parody of Portlandia and the people trade their banners and blockades for hybrid cars and LEED-certified condos, the fossil fuel industry has found a way to entrench itself in our own communities without the public’s knowledge, consent, or resistance.

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Outside Arc Logistics on 2nd anniversary of Lac-Mégantic.

 The list is exhausting and in progress, but we must understand how deep the fossil fuel industry has embedded itself to our city so we can deconstruct the system that empowers them to profit off violence against us all.

Companies like ESCO and Precision Castparts make their profits off creating the drill bits and wearable parts for physically destroying the Earth through tar sands, fracking, and mountaintop removal. Precision Castparts also profits off wars by building parts designed kill for access to fossil fuel control around the world.

Climate Riders blockading the entrance to the Precision Castparts headquarters.
Climate Riders blockading the entrance to the Precision Castparts headquarters.

Heavy shipping companies like Omega-Morgan and Emmert illegally transport Megaloads to processing facilities in the Alberta Tar Sands.

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Stop Megaloads in Eastern Oregon.

 Evraz North America constructs the steel pipe for oil and gas pipelines like the Keystone XL while Greenbrier Cos./Gunderson Marine and Vigor Industrial build the oil and coal railcars and barges that turn our railroads and rivers into pipelines with zero public knowledge of how much is moving through our communities. In Seattle and Portland, Vigor Industrial and Foss Maritime are contracting with Shell to maintain and house the Arctic Drilling Fleet.

 David Evans and Associates, as well as HDR and CH2M Hill, designs infrastructure projects and promote freeway expansions like the Columbia River Crossing that increase the market for a perpetual growth in fossil fuel consumption.

 HDR and CH2M Hill build the terminals, refineries, and other infrastructure projects that move fossil fuels from the ground to market. After the land and water is inevitably contaminated by their own projects, they win massive no-bid government contracts to clean up their own mess with taxpayer dollars.

Timber companies like Koch-owned Georgia-Pacific release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, having been sequestered into the soil for millions of years while permanently harming our ability to store carbon and replenish our watersheds.

Tim Norgren lock to barrel, supporters nearby with banners
Union Member Risks Arrest at Arc Logistics

And many companies directly move fossil fuels through Portland, often to be burned in Asia. Arc Logistics operates a 1.5 million-barrel capacity crude oil terminal, accepting oil trains from fracked and tar sands sources and ships it down the Willamette. Canadian company Pembina is planning on building a $500 million propane-by-rail export terminal from fracked oil and gas. The proposed site sits in an environmental protection area across from West Hayden Island, which will be hearing testimony on June 4th for a code change to allow for more fossil fuel facilities along our already-polluted rivers. And Kinder-Morgan, currently waging a war against the city of Burnaby over a massive and illegal tar sands pipeline on unceded First Nations land, is operating two petroleum terminals on the banks of the Willamette.

Solidarity with Burnaby Mountain Defenders
Solidarity with Burnaby Mountain Defenders

Despite greenwashing efforts, our non-municipal and undemocratic utility companies continue to cause climate change by acquiring a majority of our electricity from fossil fuels. NW Natural burns fracked gas, Pacific Power is the largest miner and burner of coal in the West, and PGE burns both coal and gas while releasing massive amounts of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere from the dead reservoirs created by its dams.

And of course, all of these businesses continue to directly pollute our air and watersheds right here in Portland on top of doing the same to frontline communities at all points of extraction and transportation. And their contributions to climate change threatens the existence of the vast majority of species on Earth, including our own.

To make matters worse, these industries receive subsidies, tax breaks, and loopholes that steal millions from the public while forcing us taxpayers to foot the bill for their environmental destruction. Accounting firms like Moss-Adams LLP specialize in helping these businesses figure out how to receive the most corporate welfare possible while also hiding their profits in tax havens overseas.

Most people don’t realize how entrenched the fossil fuel industry is in Portland. In fact, without Portland’s contributions, the fossil fuel industry and extraction would likely cease to function in its current capacity. But if we are such a sustainable city, and our government is truly passionate about fighting climate change, why aren’t they doing everything they can to shut these businesses down and strengthening our Climate Action Plan to recognize global impact on emissions?

Our local government and business institutions are supporting the fossil fuel industry from extraction to combustion, but they have greenwashed their image to make it consistent with the ideals of “Green” Capitalism. Portland has actually become a leader in creative branding and marketing, which includes the greenwashing of corporate polluters. Local public relations firms spin and obfuscate the facts on polluters while promising nothing more than “Jobs” that will apparently end our need for safe air, water, and food. PR firms like Gard Communications, Gallatin Public Affairs, Edelman, and CFM Communications are representing coal, oil, and gas terminals while simultaneously getting contracts from local institutions like Portland State, OPB, the Timbers, OnPoint Credit Union, and Travel Oregon.

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Climate Riders shutting down CFM Communications right across from City of Portland.

Even institutions that are supposed to represent the interests of the environment and the community are playing a role in greenwashing the fossil fuel industry. SOLVE, one of Oregon’s largest environmental non-profits that was started by Tom McCall himself, gets volunteers to clean up litter and remove invasive species. However, the Board of Directors is almost entirely made up of members of the fossil fuel industry and Wall Street. Their Board of Directors then hands out sustainability leadership awards to themselves so their corporations can advertise their green credentials. The work of committed community members who volunteer to plant native species is then turned around to promote the same companies that pollute our air, water, and climate far beyond their role in putting a bandaid on the problem. With their brands on full display at all of SOLVE’s events, environmental stewardship is nothing more than a minor marketing investment to these companies that would destroy the entire planet for wealth.

And public institutions have not escaped the fossil fuel industry’s influence, with Portland State’s Board of Trustees including representatives from the fossil fuel industry. The PSU Foundation, who manages the endowment, also stacks its board with fossil fuel and Wall Street executives.

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This branding of a Green® Portland allows the fossil fuel industry to continue unobstructed and invigorated while innovating new marketing strategies as more communities around the world resist the fossil fuel industry. In Portland, we have dozens of companies that profit off extraction, transport, and consumption of fossil fuels while our elected officials do nothing to address the environmental, social, and economic costs to Portlanders as part of their operations.

Industry groups lobby our elected officials for tax breaks, subsidies, and permits to pollute our air and water. One group, the Association of Oregon Industries consists of a broad range of fossil fuel interests, Wall Street banks, timber companies that tear down our carbon-storing forests, and even the Koch Brothers.

Our city council is bought by the fossil fuel industry they claim to oppose, while they simultaneously praise their role in our community. Charlie Hales went through the revolving door to HDR and Dan Saltzman worked for CH2M Hill. Mayor Hales and Commissioner Dan Saltzman have accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the local fossil fuel industry and subsequently support their operations, including Fossil Fuel Charlie Hales investing $20 million of our city money in Exxon. Even Steve Novick’s largest donor is Greenbrier Cos. This is all in spite of City Council’s strong history of repeating rhetoric about climate justice.

And of course, Oregon’s statewide elected officials have a long history of comprehensive campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry while they back oil-by-rail, LNG, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Oregon Fair Trade Council across from Rep. Blumenauer’s office.

Portland is a city with a legacy of ecological consciousness and its residents have been lied to. Right now we are the choke point for fossil fuel movements in Cascadia. Coal, oil, and gas are coming down the Columbia and right through our communities while an entire industry profits from extraction to combustion. With all current and proposed fossil fuel terminals South of the US border, Cascadia could transport five times as much carbon into the atmosphere as the Keystone XL, sealing our fate to climate catastrophe. If the fossil fuel industry can thrive in Portland through greenwashing and deceit, then they can continue elsewhere to extract and send profits to the wealthiest 1%. This new “Green” Capitalism is just as destructive as the old and with just as many marginalized communities as before.

True democratic movements are the only way to move beyond fossil fuels and towards a city that puts people, planet, and peace over profit. Grassroots organizations around Portland and around the world are working to elect new leaders who won’t accept money from corporate interests as well as pass laws through direct democracy that fundamentally change the role of government to become trustees of the Commons, protecting our Community Rights and the Rights of Nature while effectively shutting down the fossil fuel industry’s chokehold on our democracy.

But we need action now to physically stop the extraction, transport, and consumption of fossil fuels. We need to build solidarity across all communities within our city, our bioregion, and around the planet. A growing resistance is building against the fossil fuel industry in Portland with the Climate Action Coalition: environmental and social justice groups unified to participate in civil disobedience and direct action to stop the climate catastrophe. Climate change and the systems of oppression that cause it are the biggest threat to humanity that has ever existed, a threat that has been created by a wealthy elite in the name of profit and it’s our time to rise up at resist.

#FloodTheSystem

Police Risk Protester’s Life to End 9-Hour Oil Train Blockade
Police Risk Protester’s Life to End 9-Hour Oil Train Blockade
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Climate Action Coalition Fights Climate Profiteers, Greenwashing – City Council Greenwashes Fracking

Yesterday, June 24th, the Climate Action Coalition took to the streets and City Hall to call for an end to the destruction of the climate and its open endorsement of the local fossil fuel economy. Although City Council decided to strengthen key parts of the Climate Action Plan, they failed to make many much-needed changes and actively removed a provision accounting for the methane footprint of fracked gas.

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The day started with an 8am rally by BikeLoudPDX to call for an end to our violent road system and the adoption of a Vision Zero policy for transportation justice in Portland. Car culture and the violent road system that was created to support it was an intentional product of the fossil fuel industry’s multi-generational lobbying efforts. Riders from the rally and the Tank of DOOM then moved to the rally point for the Climate Action Ride at 11am. After some local media coverage and sweet tunes from the Disco Trike, the Tank of DOOM and its 50-person escort was off!

Outside The Oregonian

The first stop, much to the joy of many rival news cameras, was the mouth of the fossil fuel industry itself, The Oregonian. The Oregonian has been a long-time advocate for the Pembina Propane-by-Rail Terminal in St. Johns, despite countless concerns about the safety and climate-sense of shipping propane cars from fracking and tar sands sources to China to be used in plastics.

Headquarters of The Oregonian
Headquarters of The Oregonian

The time has long been over to treat The Oregonian like serious credible journalism, especially after a series of full-page ads by Pembina in their printed tabloids not-so-subtly reveal who funds a significant portion of their ever-shrinking budget (and credibility).

CFM Lobby

The Tank of DOOM rode next to CFM Communications, conveniently located across the street from the Portland Building and City Hall. CFM represents Pembina, TransCanada, and Nestle as well as many public and well-known institutions.

“Local businesses that don’t participate directly in extraction, transfer, or sale of fossil fuels can still be climate profiteers. CFM Communications makes money trying to convince Portland that the Pembina propane export terminal would not be environmentally damaging or contribute to climate chaos. Effectively, they obscure the reality of Pembina’s reputation as a major polluter with their well-funded propaganda campaign. It’s objectionable to have local businesses profiting off the destruction of the planet. Their other clients and the public should be aware of their business practices.” – Nick Caleb, representing Our Children’s Trust on the Climate Action Coalition

Portlandia, meet Little Beirut

Despite security locking the elevators to their office and numerous threats police eviction, we were able to occupy their lobby and show the city bureaus across the street who CFM was representing. The Tank of DOOM, to the cheers of a tour group, then moved onto the next target: Portland State University.

PSU Administration Building

 

The Climate Riders occupied the lobby of PSU Administration, demanding accountability for the close ties Portland State’s board of trustees and the PSU Foundation have to fossil fuel extraction. Students and Alumni also talked about divestment and the fact that Peter Stott, a board member of megaload-haulin’ Omega-Morgan, has a building named after him.

The Tank of DOOM then rolled down the street to support another rally by the Climate Action Coalition, this time with faith-based groups giving speeches and preparing to testify at the City Council hearing on the Climate Action Plan. The rally began with reading the names of the victims in the AME Shooting in Charleston who were murdered because they were black. The climate movement is as much a movement about the systemic dismantling white supremacy and colonization as it is about climate change.

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As the rally participants prepared to move into City Hall to testify for a stronger Climate Action Plan, the ride continued onward to target another local public official who promotes climate catastrophe.

Members of BikeLoudPDX
Members of BikeLoudPDX

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Despite threats from security, the Tank of DOOM escort parked in the courtyard of the building that held the offices of the Department of Environmental Quality, Bonneville Power Administration, Senator Wyden, and the bike-friendly Representative Blumenauer. Tori Cole of CAC and PDX Bike Swarm spoke about the DEQ’s frequent propensity to support fossil fuel expansions, despite histories of unpermitted operations and continual violations of state permitting laws. CAC members also spoke about the BPA and its masquerade as “green” energy. Dams like those the BPA operate are massive barriers to the river ecology, including salmon runs, that indigenous communities and forests in our bioregion depend on.

Blumenauer Wanted for Climate Crimes

As folks spoke about the DEQ and BPA, members of Oregon Fair Trade Campaign dropped a banner from the top of a parking garage across the street, calling out Blumenauer for his support of the TPP FastTrack and its implications for fossil fuel exports and climate action. Fossil fuel companies could sue communities for passing laws that ban fossil fuel infrastructure, giving corporations more rights than communities or even the federal government.

Shell Station at 12th and Hawthorne
Shell Station at 12th and Hawthorne

The next stop on the tour was the Shell Station at 12th and Hawthorne. Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic this summer are based on the expectations of a catastrophic 2C rise in global temperatures. Shell’s arctic drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, experienced massive resistance reminiscent of the WTO protests. The gas station was briefly shut down and no cars could fill up with gasoline that likely came from Shell’s violent and spill-ridden extraction in Nigeria.

A local kayaktivist who just returned  from blocking the Polar Pioneer in Seattle.
A local kayaktivist who just returned from blocking the Polar Pioneer in Seattle.

The Climate Action Ride finally moved towards its last polluter, a heinous company that profits not only off climate change but also the wars fought over it: Precision Castparts. Precision Castparts makes equipment for fossil fuel extraction as well as airfoils for the non-functional F-35 jet that has cost the US taxpayers over $1 trillion. They are also Portland’s largest company and the #1 industrial air polluter in the entire US.

Climate Riders blockading the entrance to the Precision Castparts headquarters.
Climate Riders blockading the entrance to the Precision Castparts headquarters.

There is something particularly sickening when confronted with the fossil fuel economy we live in, creating almost every modern war, destroying our access to safe food, and keeping us from transportation justice. Even when politicians argue for stronger climate action, they often use it as an excuse to push for more displacement through housing injustice and gentrification.

Upon our return to City Hall and the Climate Action Plan hearing, the public was still not allowed to testify as industry groups and other groups friendly to the City’s climate inaction and greenwashing agenda continued to praise the City. Public testimony was extremely limited and almost all who signed up to testify for a stronger CAP were turned away. City Council didn’t even strengthen the existing CAP; they instead unanimously accepted a proposal from Michael Armstrong to remove a specific provision that acknowledges the city to account for fugitive methane emissions from fracking wells in reducing citywide emissions. He then proposed instead that the city praise NW Natural for retrofitting its local infrastructure to make it more sustainable, despite NW Natural’s dependence on fracking for its natural gas. City Council ended the day using the full weight of our City of Portland to greenwash NW Natural, a private fossil fuel corporation.

Members of the Climate Action Coalition are extremely disappointed with this greenwashing, and expect significant and constant public involvement in moving the implementation of the CAP forward, especially regarding equity concerns for local residents and future generations.

 

Stay tuned for when Portland Rising Tide exposes the depths of the fossil fuel industry in Mapping the PDX Fossil Fuel Corridor.

 

 

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Zombie Propane export terminal to get new legs?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Call, write, email Commissioner Fish;

Portlanders have made it clear–

We don’t want a Canadian-fracked China-exportin propane terminal in Portland!

nick@portlandoregon.gov

(503) 823-3589

1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland OR  97204  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Oregonian/OregonLive  —  Ted Sickinger —  May 22, 2015

A controversial propane export terminal that many assumed died when Mayor Charlie Hales yanked his support could get a second chance at City Hall.  

Portland Commissioner Nick Fish says he has asked the city attorney to determine if Pembina Pipeline Corp has a legal right to a hearing on the zoning change it is seeking to move the project forward.

The city planning commission has recommended the zone change, which requires city council approval. A hearing would bring up the matter for a vote.

Fish said he hasn’t decided whether to support the project. But if Pembina is entitled to a hearing, he intends to talk with company officials about bringing the issue before the council for a vote.

“I think at some point the integrity of the building is at stake,” he said.

Hales was the project’s most prominent champion until two weeks ago, when he abruptly decided that community opposition to the project was too strong. He also concluded that Pembina had not established that the project met the city’s environmental standards.

Hales didn’t cite specific standards, but he pulled the zoning change from the council’s June 10 agenda and said he wouldn’t put it back on.

The move was applauded by neighborhood groups and environmental advocates, who vehemently oppose the project. But it left Pembina in limbo, and many in the community questioning whether the city was running a fair and transparent process.

It’s a question that’s has swirled around the propane terminal since the Port of Portland and the mayor unveiled the project last September. Opponents claim environmental and safety reviews have been inadequate, and that city leaders were expediting the project without adequate vetting.

Some see the project as something of a referendum on the city’s commitment to sustainability and climate action. Others say it tests the city’s commitment to recruiting industrial jobs.

Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission narrowly recommended the zone change needed at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6. The change would allow the company to run a pipeline over a narrow strip of land currently zoned for conservation.

The zoning change is key hurdle for moving the project forward, and Pembina executives were in town earlier this week drumming up support to get the project back on track at City Hall. The business community is lobbying commissioners to do the same.

More here

Even if the zoning decision goes to the council, it’s not clear it will pass. None of the other commissioners has committed to support the project.

– Ted Sickinger 

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Opponents of Pembina propane terminal pack PSC hearing

Propane Terminal Decision Goes To City Hall

Raging Grannys sing "Do Do" on propane at PSC hearing.
Raging Grannys sing “Do Do” on propane at PSC hearing./Lowen Berman

On Tuesday evening (April 7) the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission voted 6-4 to allow the zoning and code changes necessary to permit the construction of the proposed Pembina propane terminal in North Portland at Port of Portland Terminal 6.

The hearing room was packed all afternoon and into the evening with most people indicating opposition to the terminal. Approximately 90% of the testimony given was against the project. Most statements cited climate change or safety (the worst case blast zone for the terminal extends nearly 3 miles from the terminal site) as reasons to deny the zone changes required for the project to proceed. Also mentioned was the fact that the propane exported via the proposed terminal would come by way of fracking or the Alberta tar sands

One of the commissioners who voted against the project, Christopher Smith, also expressed concern that a propane export terminal would smudge the Portland brand, which it would. If this and all of the other projects the fossil fuel industry wants to ram down our throats go through, we might as well start calling ourselves the Houston of the Pacific Northwest. Next thing you know, instead of IPA and bicycles, it will be Lone Star and mechanical bulls. Yeee hah!

The passionate opposition to the terminal that was expressed at the hearing is exemplified in this testimony given by Climate Action Coalition organizer Lowen Berman:

Hello. My name is Lowen Berman, I reside in NE Portland. I come today to speak to you of equity. As you all know, the question of climate equity or climate justice has been raised by the City as a key concern when considering any and all climate related issues.

Climate justice, or injustice, refers to the reality that those least responsible for climate change, those who have least benefited from the carbon economy, are the people who are paying the highest price regarding the impacts of climate change. How does this issue manifest itself in relation to the Pembina propane terminal?

There can be no question that propane, when burned, adds to global atmospheric carbon and that the quantities of propane that will be shipped through this proposed terminal will add significantly to global carbon emissions. Nor is there any question that the sources of this propane would be fracked natural gas and, potentially in the future, tar sands oil. Nor is there any question that the profits derived from the sale of the propane will only add to the profitability of oil and gas extraction. And as anyone who has followed recent news from Asia must realize, in the years to come propane will not compete with wood and coal but rather with solar and wind.

So let us look at this project through the lens of climate justice or equity remembering that equity considerations do not end at the borders of Portland. If the terminal is built, who gets what?

  • Pembina, a Canadian corporation heavily involved in the tar sands and in hydraulic fracking, will be the primary beneficiaries of the terminal. They will get substantial profits or they would not be here at all.

  • The 150 million very poor people of Bangladesh get to see the very existence of their country threatened by rising ocean levels.

  • The City of Portland will get to collect substantial tax monies.

  • The billion plus farmers of Asia who depend for their crops’ irrigation water on glacial melt, get to see those glaciers and their food supply disappearing.

  • The working people of Portland will get a few hundred temporary construction jobs and about 35 permanent jobs.

  • The working people of Portland will get to see their homes and livelihoods threatened by potentially catastrophic propane fires and explosions that are bound to accompany the 37% likelihood of a 9.0 subduction zone earthquake that is forecasted for the expected lifetime of the proposed terminal.

The list of costs can go on and on. The lists of benefits is very short. Portland is being asked to sell its soul for a few pieces of gold. If you, as a sustainability commission, truly believe in equity and climate justice you must turn away from looking only at short term dollars and business as usual and start looking at Portland’s responsibilities to the welfare of our people and the rest of the world.

Thank you for your kind consideration of these concerns.

One would think all that, combined with the strange weather that is happening everywhere, would be enough to guarantee a unanimous PSC decision against allowing a fossil fuel project of any kind to move forward on Portland soil. But, for whatever reason, a few of the commissioners seemed to think the decision to take a principled stand against the project was beyond their job description and punted to City Hall.

And so, we must stop this insane, irresponsible, and immoral project there. It will probably be a few weeks before the decision goes to a City Counsel vote. We must let the City Commissioners know our opposition as early and as vociferously as possible. Their numbers are listed below.

Mayor Charlie Hales: 503-823-4120

Commissioner Nick Fish: 503-823-3589

Commissioner Amanda Fritz: 503-823-3008

Commissioner Steve Novick: 503-823-4682

Commissioner Dan Saltzman: 503-823-4151

 

 

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Oil spill behind industrial fencing. Tank farm in the distance.

On KBOO: NW Fossil Fuel Corridor & Climate Change– February, 2015

Reposted from KBOO.fm

NW fossil fuel corridor & climate change: citizens fight back against proposed gas export terminals

A pond full of fossil fuel muck, oil probably, surrounded by a fence. There is a tank farm in the distance. All of it is under a clear blue sky.
Photo: KBOO.fm

Program: Wednesday Talk Radio— Stream Here
Air date: Wed, 02/04/2015
Short Description: Activists from around the region discuss their efforts to shut down controversial projects
Continuing our coverage of accelerating climate change and the Fossil Fuel industries’ attempt to transform the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada into a massive export colony for the global economy.

 

Guests will include:

Pembina Propane terminal in Portland:
Daphne Wysham, Center for a Sustainable Economy
Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director, Audubon of Portland (not yet confirmed)
Mike Stanton, President, ILWU (not yet confirmed)

Jordan Cove Liquified Natural Gas terminal in Coos Bay & Pacific Connector Pipeline:
Francis Eatherington, Conservation Director, Cascadia Wildlands

Warrenton LNG terminal/ Oregon LNG:
Laurie Caplan, Co-chair, Columbia Pacific Common Sense

See also previous shows on the “Methane Time Bomb“and the Pembina Propane Terminal.

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Rally Against Propane Terminal at Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing

Hundreds Rally Against Proposed Propane Terminal at Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing

Rally Against Propane Terminal at Planning and Sustainability CommissionPortland, OR – Tuesday: Hundreds gathered in a rally and packed the Planning and Sustainability Commission public hearing to show their opposition to the controversial propane terminal proposed by Pembina Pipeline Corporation. With standing room only, the Planning and Sustainability Commission had trouble accommodating the large crowd, and over 100 people signed up to testify. The meeting ended with over 2 hours left of testimony un-heard. Community members spoke to climate impacts of propane, the destruction caused by fracking, and the impact to the sensitive conservation area at the proposed terminal site.

 Community opposition and numerous unanswered questions regarding the  planned terminal caused the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) to postpone their decision and schedule a second public  meeting to consider Pembina’s proposal on March 17, 2015.

Pembina Pipeline Corporation, with investments in the Canadian tar sands, wants to bring explosive liquid propane by rail to Portland for export to Asia from the Port of Portland’s Rivergate Terminal opposite West Hayden Island. This proposal will require that a pipeline be built crossing a fragile riparian area along the Columbia River which is zoned as a conservation area. Portland currently has a zoning code that prohibits the transport of hazardous materials via pipeline, like liquid propane gas (LPG), through such zones. In order for the proposal to move forward, the PSC would have to modify this zoning code. Today was the first public hearing held regarding the zoning amendment.

“The analysis of the Pembina proposal provided to the PSC fails to address many potential risks to human health, safety, and equity, now and into the future. We ask the Commission to recommend against any code changes that would allow this dangerous project to move forward,” said Regna Merritt of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility.

According to standard US government figures, the daily climate impact of this propane once burned would be equivalent to the daily emissions from 760,000 passenger vehicles or almost 1.5 times the number of such vehicles registered in Multnomah County in 2013. The propane is likely to be sourced from “fracked” gas and Alberta’s tar sands, the target of international protests due to the impact tar sands extraction is having on First Nations peoples and the environment. Fracking has been banned in several states due to its serious health and environmental impacts. The Pembina project is one of many projects proposed around the country that have met resistance from grassroots groups, including the Keystone XL Pipeline, coal, oil and gas terminals, and oil by rail projects.

“Using environmentally sensitive port lands to facilitate a $6 billion-a-year foreign company’s exports of a greenhouse gas pollutant originating from carbon intensive and environmentally destructive sources could not be further from Portland’s recently achieved title of ‘Climate Champion’ ” said Dr. John Talberth, President and Senior Economist with the Center for Sustainable Economy.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 8, publicly announced its opposition to the pipeline project. Mike Stanton, ILWU Local 8 president, states that “Propane exports squander the port’s potential by squeezing out rail capacity for other cargoes, including Oregon agricultural projects, containers and more. Pembina’s promise of jobs – other than a short initial construction burst – is simply false.”

The Climate Action Coalition (CAC) is calling for the rejection of the proposed propane terminal in Portland and for a moratorium on all fossil fuel infrastructure and transportation construction in Oregon.

Sponsored by Climate Action Coalition of Portland: Portland Rising Tide, Raging Grannies, 350PDX, Unitarian Universalist Community for Earth, NoKXL, PDX Bike Swarm, Sustainable Energy & Economy Network (SEEN).

[Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission will accept written testimony until March 17th. Email:psc@portlandoregon.govUSPS: 1900 SW 4th Avenue, ATTN- PSC, Portland, OR 97201]

*Thanks to Vance Walstra for the photography. www.vancewalstra.com

Rally against propane terminal at Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing

Rally against propane terminal at Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing

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Portland Mayor Hales Must Reject Proposed Propane Terminal

The following is a press release from the Climate Action Coalition:

For immediate release: December 17, 2014

Media contact: Dr. Kelly O’Hanley, Climate Action Coalition, 503-880-8844 (cell)

Adriana Voss-Andreae, M.D, PhD, 350PDX: 503-329-5302 (cell)

Rev. Kate Lore, First Unitarian Church: 503-906-6482 (cell)

Daphne Wysham, Center for Sustainable Economy: 503-657-7336; 202-510-3541 (cell)

Two weeks after the White House awarded the City of Portland and 15 other cities across the U.S. the title of “Climate Action Champion,” Oregon’s Climate Action Coalition says Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is in danger of being viewed as a “climate hypocrite” for pushing forward on a plan for a major propane export terminal in the city. Mayor Hales has expressed public support for the terminal. Yet two weeks ago, when receiving the Climate Action Champion award from President Obama, Hales stated that it is time for Portland “to think smarter, to demand more of ourselves.”

“We think the best way for Mayor Hales to think smarter about his legacy as either a climate champion or a climate hypocrite is to put an end to fossil fuel infrastructure development in the City of Portland, starting with a proposal being developed by one of the most profitable companies in the Canadian tar sands of Alberta, Pembina,” said Dr. Adriana Voss-Andreae, Chair of 350PDX.

Dr. Kelly O’Hanley, a physician with 25 years of public health experience in 37 countries, submitted comments on behalf of the Climate Action Coalition (CAC) on the proposal by Pembina Pipeline Corporation to build a propane terminal at Portland’s City Council meeting the morning of Dec. 17, 2014. The CAC, whose members include Portland Rising Tide, 350PDX, Center for Sustainable Economy, First Unitarian Church Community for Earth, Portland Raging Grannies, Portland Greenpeace Working Group and Portland Bike Swarm, is opposing the terminal both for the climate impacts this proposal would have globally and for the environmental impacts the terminal would have locally and in Alberta. The proposal calls for an initial daily shipment of 37,000 barrels of propane which, when burned, will emit some 3,601,820 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to annual emissions from 760,000 passenger vehicles, or 1.5 times the emissions from all of the passenger vehicles registered in Multnomah County in 2013. Pembina, a Canadian fossil fuel company operating in the tar sands and elsewhere in Alberta, wants to ship dangerous liquefied propane (LPG), a byproduct of fracked oil and gas, by rail from Canada to Asia from Terminal 6 in Portland. Portland is on the verge of rolling back its environmental code along the Columbia River, including a 1989 law that prohibits the transport of hazardous materials, like LPG via pipeline through conservation zones including the critical riparian areas along the shores of the Columbia.

Propane Inside City Hall“This terminal provides yet another economic incentive to the fracking industry, while undermining an urgent need for all of us to transition to clean and safe renewable energy,” said Rev. Kate Lore, Social Justice Minister at Portland’s First Unitarian Church.

“We need Mayor Hales to be a true climate champion, not turn Portland into a magnet for dirty and dangerous fossil fuel exports,” said Daphne Wysham, Climate Policy Fellow with Center for Sustainable Economy.

At the recent Lima UN Climate Summit, every country around the world agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. President Obama has set a target of overall emissions reductions for the United States of 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Portland’s own goal is to reduce 1990 emissions by 40% in 2030 and by 80% in 2050.

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