Report Reveals Ties to Trump, Obama in Two Proposed Oregon Crude Oil Export Terminals

A report released July 15 by Center for Sustainable Economy (CSE), “Crude Bailout: How Global Partners’ and Zenith Energy’s Oil Terminals Subvert Democracy, Endanger Human Life and Health, and Pollute the Planet,” reveals how billionaire investor, Koch brothers ally, and President Donald Trump legal backer Richard A. Kayne and former President Obama’s U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are collaborating to get tar sands crude to market — by delivering tar sands crude-by-rail to export terminals in Oregon. The two proposed crude oil terminals—one financed by Kayne (Global Partners in the Port of Columbia County, OR), and the other created by Geithner’s Warburg Pincus investment firm (Zenith Energy Management, in the Port of Portland in an earthquake subduction zone)—are situated in a region that is overdue for a major quake.

“Our health and safety is being put at extreme risk in order to turn a profit for billionaire Trump supporter Richard Kayne and former Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to prop up bad investments in the world’s dirtiest crude,” said Daphne Wysham, Climate Justice Program Director with CSE. “Successful grassroots campaigns opposing tar sands pipelines across North America and Geithner’s and Kayne’s pursuit of profit at any cost is resulting in the extremely hazardous transport of tar sands crude by rail to Oregon ports, putting everyone along the rail lines from Alberta to Port Westward and beyond at risk.”

Global Partners, backed by Kayne, operates key junctions in North Dakota where crude is transferred from pipelines and trucks to unit trains destined for Portland, OR, and other outlets. Heavy oil shipments surged from Canada through North Dakota to Portland after Zenith bought the Arc Logistics terminal in late 2017. The first shipments went to a company in China that is heavily invested in tar sands.

The CSE report further reveals:

  • Some aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) on the two terminal sites in Portland and Port Westward are 40 to over 70 years old.
  • Oil tanks that share structural vulnerabilities with the Zenith or Global Partners terminals have collapsed and polluted surrounding rivers and drinking waters.
  • Campaign contributions both corporations have made to elected officials and candidates on both sides of the aisle in order to ensure support of their efforts, including over $100,000 from Global Partners to state and local policymakers in Oregon.
  • The lack of comprehensive, coordinated, publicly protective federal and state regulatory oversight of these operations.
  • The more than $1 million in fines paid by Zenith Energy and Global Partners for violating safety and environmental laws at transloading stations and tank farms in  seven states.

Watch one testifier at the Portland City Council public forum on July 15, 2019, discuss some of the findings in our report here.



5 thoughts on “Report Reveals Ties to Trump, Obama in Two Proposed Oregon Crude Oil Export Terminals”

  1. Thank you, Daphne! Would you name those Oregon lawmakers and candidates who have received these campaign contributions ?

  2. It’s regrettable to see citizens of our Country pushing crude oil, especially when it ships in Oregon/Washington. This is a part of our Nation where our environment is so important. Ship out of your own back yards if shipping at all. It’s endangerment of your fellow man.

  3. We fought long (2013-2017) and hard to keep crude oil out of our Port-Grays Harbor; we said no to explosive 125 car long crude oil trains through our communities. It is dangerous to our health, our water, our environment and our lives. No new crude oil infrastructure -no crude oil by rail. BOTH Portland, OR AND ALL of Oregon said, “No crude oi!” Now, you tell me due to campaign contributions, as bribes via political greed, put us, the people and our environment & water & health & safety right in the cross hairs of disaster. I am dismayed…again.

  4. Wow. And I mean wow. You all at CSE did a brilliant job of sleuthing in your illuminating look-under-the-rocks investigative paper on Global Partners and Zenith Energy. Thanks to you the jigsaw is taking shape and the burrows of interconnectivity of these 2 projects and the self-serving political peregrinations of their financiers are coming into alarming focus. This is a must read primer for anyone wishing to put a stop to these projects. A huge thank you.

  5. This is going on world wide forever. Nothing new. This requires hard jail time for main decider violators. That will stop it cold. Fines do nothing. VW paid 29 billion supposedly.


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