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Fossil Fuel Resistance poster. Black oil running down over a picture of a beach with Fossil Fuel Resistance in white lettering.

Stop Oil Trains Action – July 23rd

Action Prep Meeting
Sunday, July 17th
Venue TBD
 
Saturday, July 23rd, 11 am
Location TBA
 
The Fossil Fuel Resistance Network (“FERN”) was formed in response to the derailment in Mosier on June 3rd. This self-organizing Network seeks to not only address acute issues, like derailments, but also to critique and expose the systemic issues the “too big to fail” fossil fuel industry externalizes on people and the planet as a whole. 
 
On June 18th, FERN brought together members of our local regions to stand up to the monopoly railway corporations who continually put our communities at risk with callous and unsafe practices, knowing they will not be held accountable. 
 
On June 23rd Union Pacific resumed oil train traffic through the Gorge despite being found “solely responsible” for the derailment and requests from both Oregon and Washington for a moratorium until further investigation and public input. Communities all along these blast zones are asking for protection from future disasters, and FERN is an organizing body that wants to meet this call. 
 
Please join us in our next action, where we will tell Union Pacific that their actions are unacceptable and have some silly fun while we’re at it!  Come to the action prep meeting on the 17th to learn all you need to know.
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Ariel view of oil train burning in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

47 Lives of Lac-Mégantic–We Remember

Ariel view of oil train burning in Lac-Mégantic, QuebecThis will be the third anniversary of the oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. People of Portland, Vancouver, and neighboring communities will come together to remember the 47 victims lost in the tragic explosions of Summer 2013.

To honor the lives of the 47 people, we present a program from our community. Much has been said about their fiery deaths. We will focus on their lives. Although we never met them, we know their names and Canadian newspapers have given us hints about their lives. Through our own hearts, we try to feel what life may have meant for them. We feel sorrow for the people of Lac-Mégantic and deep concern for communities everywhere that are threatened by oil-by-rail.

When: Wednesday, July 6 2016 – Continuous programing; drop in and join us between 11AM and 2PM

Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square , 701 SW 6th Avenue, Downtown Portland, 97204 

For more information: Bonnie at goto350pdx@gmail.com or 503-705-1943

Event Sponsors: Climate Action Coalition, Stand Up To Oil, Columbia Riverkeeper, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Greenpeace NW, Sierra Club, Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Propane Backup Page 4/8/15

Portland was recently awarded the title of Climate Action Champions. Despite this, Portland is on the verge of rolling back its environmental code along the Columbia River to allow a fossil fuel terminal to ship dangerous liquefied propane. Does this sound like a city wins presidential climate awards? Our city currently has a law that prohibits the transport of hazardous materials, like liquid propane gas (LPG) via pipeline through conservation zones like the sensitive riparian areas along the shores of the Columbia. This law has existed since 1989. Why change it now? A Canadian fossil fuel extraction and export company wants to ship dangerous liquefied propane from Terminal 6. Mayor Hales has already rolled out the red carpet for LPG, declaring “This is great news” in a public statement on the proposal. Fewer environmental protections and more carbon pollution; doesn’t sound like “great news”.

propane site

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How To Get Involved:

Step One for Pembina is securing an environmental code amendment from the Portland City Council. This code amendment is presently being drafted by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) meeting on Tuesday, April 7th, 2pm, at will be the second opportunity to testify in opposition to Pembina’s humongous propane terminal.  If the PSC recommends denial of the code amendment the the project is dead! If they aren’t swayed by a room of concerned folks speaking out against exporting carbon pollution and they recommend approval, the issue will go to to the City Council for a vote.

Attend the PSC meeting and tell Pembina to keep its carbon in the ground!

 Please RSVP to info@portlandrisingtide.org so we know you’ll be there. Include ‘Propane” in the subject line! Thanks!

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Portland Propane Photo Petition

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 What is Propane and Why are We Opposed to Exporting it?

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 Rivergate Terminal on the Columbia River at Terminal Six. LPG is the by-product of the ‘extreme energy’ extraction fracking business. Extreme energy is the term for fossil fuels that are extracted from the Earth with processes that are freshwater and chemically intensive and pose significant risks to both human and nonhuman life.

Pembina’s proposal for the Port of Portland aims to bring propane derived from fracked natural gas refining on unit trains, liquefy it in refrigerated storage tanks and then export the LPG on large vessels creatively referred to as VLGCs (very large gas carriers) to Asia.

Pembina is trying to sell propane as a ‘bridge fuel.’ The company says that using propane is getting us off other forms of energy. But that argument is just sugarcoating the truth. Continuing to invest in carbon-polluting fossil fuels puts real solutions to the climate crisis out of reach. Fracked propane, put on a train and shipped thousands of miles, liquefied in a tank in Portland and exported to Asia and sold to the highest bidder involves lots of literal bridges, and it also involves a trail of fracking chemicals, refinery pollution, diesel train particulate matter, fugitive volatile organic compound emissions and greenhouse gases.

Here are the specifics of Pembina’s proposal [1]:

  • One unit train per moth: 1.3 mile long train full of propane every other day
  • 36,000 barrels/day, plans to grow to 72,000 barrels/day
  • Tankers 2-3X per month called VLGCs (very large gas carriers); Exclusion zone 650-800 ft on either side of vessel, would affect shoreline traffic but not river traffic
  • Onsite Port of Portland LPG storage: two big refrigerated tanks, propane kept at -40 Fahrenheit, 600,000-700,000 barrels storage (up to 30 mil. gals.)  
  • The Pembina proposed propane export terminal would result in over 10,000 tons of CO2 each day*. This is just from the burning of propane, it doesn’t include the massive footprint involved in the fracking, liquefying or shipping process. The carbon from these emissions will not stay within the borders of the region where the propane is burned, rather, it will affect the climate and carbon emissions around the globe.

*37,500 barrels of propane per day x 42 gallons of propane per barrel[2] x 12.7 lbs of CO2 per gallon[3] /2000 = 10,001.25 tons of CO2

 Portland Officials Must Roll Back Environmental Protections for Pembina and Propane Export

Here’s an interesting fact: Pembina’s propane export terminal proposal is currently illegal under City of Portland zoning regulations. An October, 2014 article in the Portland Mercury outlines the hurdles that Pembina faces:

The project, as currently envisioned, runs afoul of the city’s zoning code—specifically, the city’s rules for safeguarding sensitive wildlife along the Columbia. And unless Portland City Council is willing to slightly tweak those rules, at a hearing as soon as next spring, then the project would be impossible to build.

Planning and code enforcement officials have been weighing what seems like a fairly clean revision: adding pipes and pipelines to that short list of exemptions. Except that’s not as easy as it seems. That kind of change in the zoning code, without limits, could apply to land with similar protections elsewhere in the city, farther up the Columbia and around places like Balch and Johnson Creeks.

According to the city of Portland 33.430.017, the “Environmental Conservation zone conserves important resources and functional values in areas where the resources and functional values can be protected while allowing environmentally sensitive urban development.”

Pembina’s operations require the construction of an LPG pipeline across an Environmental Conservation Habitat (ECH) zone along the Columbia River. Unless the city alters its code, a pipeline is not allowed through this zone. Preserved riparian zones along the Columbia River within Portland city limits are very limited and the proposed rezoning weakens what currently exists.

If the City of Portland were to undergo the extensive recoding process and allow the transport of hazardous materials through ECH zones it would send a clear message that Portland’s environmentally protected areas are simply a piggy bank waiting to be broken when a major industrial development arises. Recoding the city’s environmental areas to cater to a fossil fuel company sends a clear message that city climate plan

Concerned about oil trains exploding? Propane trains are risky too.

Trains carrying propane pose a similar explosion risk to trains carrying Bakken crude oil. In October 2013 13 cars rail cars – four carrying petroleum crude oil and nine loaded with liquifed petroleum gas – came derailed in the middle of the night in the town of Gainford, Alberta. Three of the derailed cars leaked their contents and caught fire.

In January 2014 another propane/crude oil train derailed, caught fire and exploded. 17 rail cars derailed in the New Brunswick province; two of the cars carrying LPG and one car carrying crude oil caught fire in the derailment. Over 100 homes were evacuated after the derailment. 

Opposition to propane trains and terminals are not limited to the west coast. In the town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire a proposed propane terminal and the trains required to supply the facility are facing fierce opposition from citizens and elected officials. An April 2014 article in the local Sea Coast paper quoted elected officials voicing their concern:

State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark believes the proposed increase in the number of trains carrying rail cars filled with propane through the heart of the downtown poses a risk to development along the rail line. “It seems to me that it’s a public safety issue for the new developments downtown along the rail, including HarborCorp,” Fuller Clark said during an interview Tuesday.5

Mayor Robert Lister said Wednesday that it is a concern to have trains carrying propane “going by any building at all.” “I think it’s worth a serious conversation to think about public safety,” Lister said, noting he has concerns about the speed of the trains and the condition of the tracks.

Pembina’s Web of Fossil Fuel Profits

Pembina is more than just a wannabe propane exporter. They’re deeply invested in the massively destructive Alberta tar sands. Allowing them to profit in Portland allows them to profit in the tar sands. We have to draw the line.

Here’s Pembina’s company map. The central facility in red is called the Redwater Fractitioner. It’s where the propane from the natural gas fracking fields is refined. Just below the Redwater Fractitioner is an image of trains and trucks….that’s where Portland’s proposed export terminal comes in. Note how Redwater is linked to the tar sands refining and extracting (top part of the blurry map).

pembina network

[1] http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/09/pembina_chief_provides_first_d.html 

[2] http://www.neo.ne.gov/statshtml/79b.htm

[3] http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/co2_vol_mass.cfm

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Portland propane export project hits environmental snag

Not the Breakfast of Climate Champions — Portland Propane Photo Petition

Portland was recently awarded the title of “Climate Action Champions” and Portlanders are saying “No!” to Pembina’s proposed propane terminal.  Join the Climate Action Coalition on April 7th at the final Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing on the proposal.   Specifics can be found here.

Below are citizens who have already signed onto Rising Tide’s Photo Petition.

Port of Morrow Coal Proposal On the Ropes In 2015

Will the Port of Morrow be the Fourth Coal Terminal to Go Down?

Ambre Energy’s Port of Morrow proposal faced a bleak future even before March 19, the day the Oregon Transportation Commission denied $2M in grant funding through ConnectOregon.

In August 2014, the Department of State Lands rejected the removal-fill permit for the Coyote Island Terminal at the Port of Morrow in Boardman. DSL director Mary Abrams said her agency weighed numerous factors before making the decision, including public comments, economic and social impacts of the project, and whether the project meets state requirements for protecting water resources, navigation, fishing and public recreation. Both Ambre and the Port of Morrow have appealed the decision.

In September 2014, the Army Corps of Engineers delivered another blow to the beleaguered coal terminal, announcing it had “placed a hold” in its review of an application to construct a barge-loading terminal at Coyote Island.  The Army Corps said it paused its review process in light of DSL’s rejection of Ambre’s application to install pilings for the project.

In March 2015, the Oregon Transportation Commission voted 3-1 to reject funding for a controversial $2 million ConnectOregon project to fund dock improvements for a proposed coal export facility at Port Westward. This was the second time OTC rejected the grant.

Additionally, coal loading operations at Port Westward– necessary to the Port of Morrow project– hinge on yet-to-be granted authorization from the Oregon Department of State Lands.

The following summarizes the size and scope of the proposed project.  Information below was sourced from Earthfix, June, 2012:

Morrow Pacific: Ports of Morrow and St. Helens, OR (aka Boardman)

This two-port plan would bring coal by rail to the Port of Morrow in Boardman, OR. There it would be transferred by barge, delivered to Port Westward and loaded onto ships headed for Asia. Both terminals along the Columbia would encroach upon sensitive salmon habitat.  In particular, the terminal at Port Westward could stack huge barges in Bradburry Slough, a prime salmon spawning area that the State of Oregon has spent millions of dollars to restore. This proposal if approved would double barge traffic in the river at full build up, impeding the transportation of other commodities, tribal and commercial fishing, as well as recreational fishing, boating and parasailing.

Air quality, water quality, and construction stormwater permits were approved in February, 2014 by Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.2

Players: Ambre Energy North America & Pacific Transloading

Full Capacity: To be reached by 2016

Export Plans: 8.8 million short tons/year

Trains: 22 trains/week (11 full and 11 empty)

Trains Cars: 1,459/week

Barges: 12 tows/week

Vessels: 128/year  

 

STOP PROPANE Temp Page 1/25/15

STOP THE PDX PROPANE TERMINAL!  Hearing & Rally, Tues, March 17

Sponsored by Climate Action Coalition of Portland: Portland Rising Tide, Raging Grannies, 350PDX, Unitarian Universalist Community for Earth, NoKXL, PDX Bike Swarm

propane site

Portland was recently awarded the title of “climate champion” by the White House. Yet now a corporation with roots in the Canadian tar sands, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, wants to bring explosive liquid propane by rail to Portland for export from our ports on the Columbia River.

Step One for Pembina is securing an environmental code amendment from the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC). This code amendment is presently being drafted by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.  The PSC meeting will be the second chance to testify in opposition to exporting carbon pollution– at the first hearing on January 13, the PSC tabled the decision until March 17th.  If the PSC recommends denial of the code amendment the the project is dead! If they aren’t swayed by a room of concerned folks speaking out against exporting carbon pollution and they recommend approval, the issue will go to to the City Council for a vote.

Rally/Hearing on TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (Time TBD)

1900 SW 4th Ave. in downtown Portland, OR.

 

Wear RED armbands!
Bring signs and banners!
Testify!

Show your support in the Hearing Room.

Be present whether you want to testify or not.

To testify in absentia: If you are unable to attend in person, submit your testimony in writing by 5 p.m. Monday, March 16, 2015, by email to: psc@portlandoregon.gov . Alternatively, submit it by mail arriving by 5 pm on Monday, March 16, 2015, to Portland Planning & Sustainability Commission, 1900 SW 4th Avenue, ATTN- PSC, Portland, OR 97201.  

To testify in person, sign up to testify at 12:00 Noon, March 17, at the Portland Bureau of Planning and Services, Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing at 1900 SW 4thAve, Ste 2500A.

Be sure to bring 12 PRINTED copies of your testimony with you on Jan. 13th as well.

Keep your oral comments brief—no more than 2-3 minutes per person, depending on turnout.

Testimony time TBD

Tips on testimony available here.    For more background information, visit this site.

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The daily climate impact of this propane once burned is equivalent to the daily emissions from 760,000 passenger vehicles or 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, one of the bleakest scenes of man-made destruction, and the target of international protests due to the impact tar sands extraction is having on First Nations peoples and the environment. The world’s most prominent climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, has called full exploitation of the tar sands “game over” for the planet, given that existing conventional oil and gas is likely to continue to be burned as well. Fracking has been banned in several states due to its serious health and environmental impacts.

More information can be found in Denis C. Theriault’s December 17 Portland Mercury Blog here:

Environmental Advocates Seize on Zoning Change in Bid to Squash Propane Terminal

 

Pack the City Council Meeting to Oppose Propane Export — 12/17, 9:30a

At 9:30 AM on December 17th, a representative of the Climate Action Coalition testify in opposition to the proposed propane export terminal at the Port of Portland  during the brief public testimony period at City Hall in front of the Portland City Council.  (Please note that this issue is not on the Council agenda and will not be discussed by the Council at this meeting).  We need a full room of supporters to amplify her voice!   Please RSVP to info@portlandrisingtide.org so we know you’ll be there. Include ‘Propane” in the subject line! Thanks!

Portland was recently awarded the title of Climate Action Champions. Despite this, Portland is on the verge of rolling back its environmental code along the Columbia River to allow a fossil fuel terminal to ship dangerous liquefied propane. Does this sound like a city wins presidential climate awards? Our city currently has a law that prohibits the transport of hazardous materials, like liquid propane gas (LPG) via pipeline through conservation zones like the sensitive riparian areas along the shores of the Columbia. This law has existed since 1989. Why change it now? A Canadian fossil fuel extraction and export company wants to ship dangerous liquefied propane from Terminal 6. Mayor Hales has already rolled out the red carpet for LPG, declaring “This is great news” in a public statement on the proposal. Fewer environmental protections and more carbon pollution; doesn’t sound like news.

Step One for Pembina is securing an environmental code amendment from the Portland City Council. This code amendment is being drafted by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability right now (early December 2014)!  We need to pack the room opposing fossil fuel exports!

 

Emergency Response to the Mike Brown Grand Jury Decision, October 2014 – January 2015

Where: In front of the Justice Center at SW 3rd and Madison Streets in downtown Portland

When:  4:00 PM, the day after the Grand Jury decision in the Michael Brown case

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The AMA Coalition for Justice, the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, The Urban League, Hella 503, PCHRP, Police Reform, and many others will hold an emergency action to focus on police accountability and justice for Michael Brown on the day after the Grand Jury decision.  Portland Rising Tide will be present in solidarity.

The Grand Jury’s decision could be anytime between now and late December. Be prepared to hit the streets the day after the decision.

Come out to stand for justice! Come out to support community organization!

Forward Ever, Backwards Never!

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For more information contact Dr LeRoy Haynes, Chair of the AMA Coalition, at 503-287-0261 or AAPRPoregon@gmail.com

 

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Portland Rising Tide Orientation, Thursday, Nov 20th, 6:30 PM

Tide Rising NYAre you freaked out by global ecosystemic collapse? Maybe feeling helpless and terrified, wandering amidst a faltering toxic industrial empire? Wondering what you can do to fight for Mama Earth, to defend her big beautiful rivers and mountains and forests and skies?

Neverfear! The next Portland Rising Tide Orientation is Thursday, November 20th at 6:30 PM and YOU ARE INVITED.

Location: 2249 E Burnside, Portland

We will briefly review PRT’s history and past campaigns, discuss current local and regional fossil fuel threats, and support you in figuring out how you can best get involved.

Please bring: friends, questions, nervous excitement, your passion for life.

Orientation space is wheelchair accessible including newly remodeled ADA compliant bathroom. Please contact us at info@portlandrisingtide.org with additional questions.

RT Orientation, October 22, Postponed for Winona LaDuke Event at PSU

Are you freaked out by global ecosystemic collapse? Maybe feeling helpless and terrified, wandering amidst a faltering toxic industrial empire? Wondering what you can do to fight for Mama Earth, to defend her big beautiful rivers and mountains and forests and skies?

Neverfear! The next Portland Rising Tide Orientation is POSTPONED, and YOU ARE INVITED.

We will briefly review PRT’s history and past campaigns, discuss current local and regional fossil fuel threats, and support you in figuring out how you can best get involved.

Please bring: friends, questions, nervous excitement, your passion for life.

Orientation space is wheelchair accessible, though the bathroom is a bit questionable. Please contact us at info@portlandrisingtide.org with additional questions.

Please check back here for rescheduled orientation at 2249 E Burnside St. Coming Soon!

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