Quantcast
Energy

Portland City Council Passes Strong Resolution Opposing Oil Trains

Last night, the Portland City Council approved a resolution opposing projects that would increase oil train traffic through the Columbia River Gorge and the Portland metro area. The resolution passed by a 4-0 vote to loud applause in a city hall that was packed with an overflow crowd.

Portland Oil Resolution Passed Unanimously; Fossil Fuel Resolution Goes to Vote 11/12: "It’s been a rough 24 hours for...

Posted by Columbia Riverkeeper on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The resolution specifically noted that the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver would pose a risk to the health, safety and water quality of Portland and Vancouver area residents. The resolution comes on the heels of Eric LaBrant, an opponent of the oil terminal in Vancouver, handily winning a seat on the Port of Vancouver Commission on Tuesday night.

Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, stated, “It’s been a rough 24 hours for Tesoro-Savage. Portland made an unequivocal statement of opposition to the Tesoro project, and Vancouver residents elected Eric LaBrant for Port Commissioner in a clear referendum on oil trains. From both sides of the river, voters and elected officials are sending a clear message of opposition to the nation’s largest proposed oil-by-rail terminal.”

Physicians, union leaders, students, scientists, climate activists and conservationists offered hours of testimony in support of the resolution.

“We must protect our community, especially the most vulnerable, from the direct impacts of oil-by-rail and other fossil fuel transportation,” stated Dr. Patrick O’Herron, president of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Negative impacts include exploding trains, degraded air quality, delays in emergency response time and worsening of lung and cardiac conditions.”

Press conference on the resolutions: "Portland can lead in transition away from fossil fuels, not a switch from one...

Posted by Columbia Riverkeeper on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

While the oil train resolution passed, a second broader fossil fuel policy resolution did not pass on Wednesday, pending further discussion by the city council and a likely vote on Nov. 12.

“We’re excited that the City of Portland passed one resolution today but a little disappointed that they delayed their decision on the other—one that would move Portland towards a low-carbon future that protects the health and safety of all. We will be back next week to support the City’s work in finalizing a strong resolution pertaining to all fossil fuels,” added Dr. O’Herron.

The city council also heard from Cager Clabaugh, representing the Vancouver Longshore Union, who warned that local firefighters would have to use the “rule of thumb” to deal with potential fires from oil train accidents.

Clabaugh said, “Firefighters will hold up their thumb, and once their thumb blocks their view of the burning oil train, they’ll set a perimeter and evacuate people. As workers on the waterfront, we could be stuck between the burning train and the water.”

The union’s opposition to oil trains was a critical factor in persuading several commissioners to support the oil train resolution.

Mayor Hales announced that City Hall opened up a third(!) overflow room because so huge crowd in support of fossil fuel resolutions. #cities4climate #ActOnClimate #KeepItInTheGround #climatejustice

Posted by Columbia Riverkeeper on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

 

With the resolution passed, the city will weigh in on the environmental review process for the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal, for which a draft environmental impacts statement is expected in November.

The resolution states: “City of Portland opposes oil-by-rail transportation through and within the City of Portland and the City of Vancouver, WA ... the City of Portland supports the preparation of a programmatic, comprehensive and area-wide Environmental Impact Statement to identify the cumulative effects that would result from existing and proposed oil-by-rail terminals.”

What's next after Portland City Council unanimously voted on a resolution opposing oil trains through the city? On Nov. 12, Portland City Council will meet and likely vote on groundbreaking fossil fuel policy. Now is the time to submit your letter of support today, fill out this form and we'll submit on you behalf: It's as easy as 1-2-3.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Landmark Climate Bill Would End New Fossil Fuel Leases on Federal Lands

Pennsylvania Township Passes Bill of Rights Banning Fracking Wastewater Injection Wells

7 Kids Demand Judge Uphold Their Rights to a Healthy Environment in Landmark Case

We Must Hold Exxon Accountable for Deceiving the Public on Climate Climate

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Climate
In 2018, the Arctic region had the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage on record. NOAAPMEL / YouTube

The Past 5 Years Were the Arctic's Warmest on Record

The Arctic is still warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth, and the region's air temperatures in the past five years between 2014-2018 have exceeded all previous records since 1900, according to a peer-reviewed report released by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday.

The agency's 13th annual Arctic Report Card also concluded that 2018 was second only to 2016 in terms of the region's overall warmth.

Keep reading... Show less
Science
Partial solar eclipse. ndersbknudsen, CC BY 2.0

3 Key Dangers of Solar Geoengineering and Why Some Critics Urge a Global Ban

By Justin Mikulka

A Harvard research team recently announced plans to perform early tests to shoot sunlight-reflecting particles into the high atmosphere to slow or reverse global warming.

These research efforts, which could take shape as soon as the first half of 2019, fall under the banner of a geoengineering technology known as solar radiation management, which is sometimes called "sun dimming."

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Even an increase of 2°C would cause significant sea level rise. pxhere

Report: Current Climate Policies Will Warm the World by 3.3˚C

This past October, a widely disseminated United Nations report warned that far-reaching and significant climate impacts will already occur at 1.5˚C of warming by 2100.

But in a study released Tuesday, researchers determined that the current climate polices of governments around the world will push Earth towards 3.3˚C of warming. That's more than two times the aspirational 1.5˚C target adopted by nearly 200 nations under the 2015 Paris agreement.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
garett_mosher / iStock / Getty Images

McDonald's to Reduce Antibiotics Use in Beef

In a significant win in the fight to save antibiotics, McDonald's—the largest and most iconic burger chain on the planet—announced Tuesday that it will address the use of antibiotics in its international supply chain for beef by 2021.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Insights/Opinion
Protesters clashes with riot police on Foch avenue next to the Place de l'Etoile, setting cars ablaze during a Yellow Vest protest on Dec. 1 in Paris. Etienne De Malglaive / Getty Images

The Lesson From a Burning Paris: We Can’t Tax Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis

By Wenonah Hauter

The images from the streets of Paris over the past weeks are stark and poignant: thousands of angry protesters, largely representing the struggling French working class, resorting to mass civil unrest to express fear and frustration over a proposed new gas tax. For the moment, the protests have been successful. French President Emmanuel Macron backed off the new tax proposal, at least for six months. The popular uprising won, seemingly at the expense of the global fight against climate change and the future wellbeing of our planet.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Rainbow Mountains in Vinicuna, Perú. Megan Lough / UI International Programs / CC BY-ND 2.0

7 Reasons Why #Mountains Matter

December 11 is International Mountain Day, an annual occasion designated by the United Nations to celebrate Earth's precious mountains.

Mountains aren't just a sight to behold—they cover 22 percent of the planet's land surface and provide habitat for plants, animals and about 1 billion human beings. The vital landforms also supply critical resources such as fresh water, food and even renewable energy.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Tetra Images / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Don’t Stress About What Kind of Christmas Tree to Buy, but Reuse Artificial Trees and Compost Natural Ones

By Bert Cregg

Environmentally conscious consumers often ask me whether a real Christmas tree or an artificial one is the more sustainable choice. As a horticulture and forestry researcher, I know this question is also a concern for the Christmas tree industry, which is wary of losing market share to artificial trees.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
The Woolsey Fire seen from Topanga, California on Nov. 9. Peter Buschmann / Forest Service, USDA

Hotter Planet Makes Extreme Weather Deadlier, New Study Finds

By Jake Johnson

With people across the globe mobilizing, putting their bodies on the line, and getting arrested en masse as part of a broad effort to force the political establishment to immediately pursue ambitious solutions to the climate crisis, new research published on Monday provided a grim look at what the future will bring if transformative change is not achieved: colossal flooding, bigger fires, stronger hurricanes and much more.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!