City of Portland Bans New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure!
On Wednesday afternoon, as snow began to fall in the Northwest, Portland City Council voted unanimously to enact a new city ordinance banning new fossil fuel infrastructure in the City. Joined by community leaders and grassroots activists, Council asserted Portland's leadership in the climate justice movement—this is the strongest fossil fuel infrastructure ban in any city in the United States.
"This is the first stone in a green wall of resistance against fossil fuel facilities on the west coast." - Mayor Charlie Hales
On Wednesday afternoon, as snow began to fall in the Northwest, Portland City Council voted unanimously to enact a new city ordinance banning new fossil fuel infrastructure in the City. Joined by community leaders and grassroots activists, Council asserted Portland's leadership in the climate justice movement—this is the strongest fossil fuel infrastructure ban in any city in the United States. The City's ordinance bans large new fossil fuel terminals and forbids existing terminals from expanding in size.
Wednesday’s vote would not have been possible without your help. Grassroots participation was the driving force behind this policy over the last two years.
Looking back two years ago, enactment of such a historic ban was almost unimaginable. At that time a large propane export facility was proposed at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6, and the Mayor and City were ready to support it. At that time Portland Audubon, Columbia Riverkeeper, 350PDX, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Climate Action Coalition and other groups raised the alarm. We built a strong and diverse coalition and lobbied the Mayor, City Council, and other City Leadership to oppose such a dangerous and climate-devastating project in our own City. After thousands of letters, phone calls, and several jam-packed public hearings, Mayor Hales heard our voices and chose not to move the proposal forward.
Not satisfied with simply stopping a single bad project, our coalition, working with Mayor Hales, wanted to make sure that no expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure would be allowed in Portland. At the end of 2015, City Council passed a resolution banning new fossil fuel facilities. Over the next year, City staff went about crafting policy and taking public input to translate the resolution into binding city code, which was finalized this week.
“This work would not be possible without our strong grassroots organizations that have led our city’s efforts forward. Now more than ever, these local community voices are needed, because the risks of not acting on climate change are just too severe.” – Mayor Charlie Hales
This policy was worked on by a coalition of groups including Portland Audubon, 350PDX, Columbia Riverkeeper, Climate Action Coalition, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Center for Sustainable Economy, the Oregon Chapter Sierra Club, Sightline Institute and more.
Thank you to all of you who made your voices heard by calling, emailing, and attending rallies and hearings. Because of all of us working together, Portland has taken a major step forward in the fight against climate change.