May 2020 Newsletter


Dear friends, supporters and allies,

These are unprecedented times. Our nation is mourning the more than 100,00 dead due to the COVID19 virus. Of those who have contracted the virus, recent studies show brown and Black communities are most likely to die from it. The Navajo Nation is now facing more deaths per capita than anywhere else in our country. And, in the midst of this pandemic, we are witness to the sheer brutality of Minneapolis police killing a Black man, George Floyd, in broad daylight and the understandable rage and rioting that has followed, which may mean a surge in more COVID19 cases and deaths there. We at CSE stand in solidarity with our Black, brown, and Native allies, and urge everyone to do the same. Please visit our website for some suggested actions you can take at this challenging time.Thank you for your activism and generosity. We need it now more than ever.

–Daphne Wysham, Climate Justice Program Director, Anthony Rogers Wright, National Racial/Climate Justice Advocate, and the rest of the staff at CSE


PGE, Global Partners Activism Pays Off!

A political strategy which CSE helped advance has put a snag in the plans of a major Koch Brothers ally, Richard Kayne, in expanding Global Partners’ crude oil storage capacity by 1 million barrels in Clatskanie, OR. Ever since PGE and Global’s purchase and sale agreement took place, CSE and our grassroots allies have been strategizing on how best to ensure these tanks would not be used to store crude oil, as they once were and could be again. Read the full story here.          



Tell DEQ: No Permits for Oil Trains!

 Global Partners has applied for a permit to move crude oil by rail through our Oregon and Washington communities. We have until June 5, 2020, to tell the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, ‘NO’. Please click on this link to send a letter to DEQ.



Zenith Energy Withdraws Key Permit!

Since spring of 2019, CSE and our allies have been fighting Zenith Energy’s plans to bring crude oil by rail to a terminal in Portland, OR, in flagrant disregard for the City’s groundbreaking 2016 ordinance calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure. On Monday, May 11, 2020, Zenith Energy, which owns and manages Portland’s only crude oil terminal, withdrew its application for a key chemical pipeline permit and emphasized a commitment to “renewable fuels” moving forward. More here.



Gov. Brown’s Climate Executive Order: Is #1 Greenhouse Gas Emitter Included?

Governor Brown’s recent Climate Change Executive Order 20-04 presents Oregonians with the opportunity to finally reduce the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, the timber industry, and to start to manage the landscape in a way to make it more resilient to climate change. On May 6, 2020, CSE and the Forest Carbon Coalition joined 25 Oregon partners, including forest and watershed conversation organizations, grassroots climate groups and scientists in calling for an end to destructive industrial forest practices and outlining clear recommendations for adopting climate-smart forest management practices for the future. For more, visit our website.

CSE’s New Summer Law Clerks, Interns

School’s out for the summer! And that means it’s now time for our latest crop of summer law clerks and interns. Please join us in welcoming our fantastic summer crew:

  • Samantha Hernandez (below left), who will be working on a collaborative Fossil Fuel Resistance Internship with CSE and Portland Harbor Community Coalition;
  • Organizing Fellow Simone Crow (center, left), who is co-sponsored by OPAL Environmental Justice and CSE, and will be developing an Oregon Green New Deal listening tour for the summer and fall of 2020;
  • and Jenn Wig (center right) and Josie Moburg (below, right), both Law Clerks with CSE’s Climate Justice Program.

In addition, Mamelang Memela, who has been working part-time with CSE until she finished her degree at Lewis & Clark College, starts full-time as a Program Associate with CSE on June 1, and is joined by Samantha Krop who also starts on June 1 as Manager of CSE’s Wild and Working Forest Campaign.

Learn more about all of these new additions to our team at CSE on our website here.



  CSE Testifies About COVID19 Response Plans, Oil Terminals, Green New Deal

CSE Grassroots Fossil Fuel Resistance Organizer Elijah Cetas testified April 29, 2020, before Portland City Council, calling for the City to act on concerns from the community around the Zenith Energy crude by rail terminal. Among other suggestions, Elijah suggested that the City explore developing a fossil fuel risk bonding requirement for the Zenith facility, and their proposed expansion; and that the City lead on a just recovery from this pandemic by using funds from the federal stimulus and new municipal bonding opportunities to invest in a transition to a renewable, caring economy. You can listen to Elijah’s testimony here.

CSE Staff Attorney Nick Caleb was invited to testify on May 20, 2020, before Portland City Council as the City moves to pass a resolution on a Covid-19 Recovery. Nick urged the City  to actively invest in a renewable, a caring economy and community resilience at the Portland Harbor. “We believe the present crisis must be a wake up call and used as an opportunity to expand the care economy and access to essential services (like healthcare, public transportation, and good food) as the foundation of a local Green New Deal …We need to use this moment to prepare for the ongoing crisis of climate change, and the disaster of a Cascadia 9.0 earthquake,” said Nick. You can watch Nick’s full testimony here, or read it here.

Newly hired Summer Law Clerk Josie Moburg (see above) also got a word in at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on May 20, 2020, urging the DEQ to deny Global Partners’ air permit, which would allow the company to ship “around 120,000 barrels of crude oil per day,” in mile-long unit cars by rail from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields. These crude oil trains pose great risks to people that live and work within a mile of the railroad tracks. Numerous schools are situated within the blast zone of railroad tracks, and the trains traverse countless waterways on their way to the Global Partners terminal in Clatskanie. The oil once burned will eventually release “around 18 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent pollution each year, about the same as an additional 4 million cars on the road.”


Center for Sustainable Economy

P.O. Box 393
West Linn, OR 97068

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