This morning, the Portland Audubon Society, OPAL Environmental Justice, 350 PDX, the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Center for Sustainable Economy sent a letter to Portland City Commissioners and Mayor Wheeler urging immediate action on the Zenith oil terminal and broader fossil fuel policy. The letter presents a roadmap for phasing out fossil fuel infrastructure in line with binding city commitments to oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure and oil trains, and to promote a renewable energy economy.
“The City of Portland has made repeated unanimous commitments to phase out fossil fuel infrastructure and do everything in its power to usher in a rapid and just transition to a 100% renewable energy powered economy,” said Mia Reback with the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. “In 2015, the Portland City Council committed itself to opposing oil trains and new fossil fuel infrastructure in Portland and surrounding waterways.”
“Portland’s residents expect the City to honor these binding commitments and protect them against the many risks that the fossil fuel industry poses to human health & safety, the environment, and the climate,” said Nicholas Caleb, Staff Attorney at the Center for Sustainable Economy. “As a community, we have already decided that we are not going to allow companies like Zenith to expand dangerous activities in our city.”
On March 6, 2019, Mayor Wheeler issued a statement (read by Commissioner Eudaly) that “we will continue to do everything we can to limit this [Zenith] expansion or get rid of it all together.” Since this statement was released, no City action has been taken on the Zenith proposal.
The letter the coalition sent to Portland City Commissioners and Mayor Wheeler is linked here: City of Portland – Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Letter (sign ons) – April 19.