350PDX rally image
Image credit: 350PDX video screen capture.

Portland, Oregon has put new restrictions on companies that want to store and transport oil, gas, and coal there.

In January, Oregon’s Court of Appeals upheld a zoning ordinance that bans building or expanding large fossil fuel storage facilities in the city.

Reback: “The policy was really rooted in two things: the first being climate change and the fact that fossil fuels are the primary driver, but also that when we transport and store fossil fuels, we bring with them an enormous amount of health and safety risks.”

Mia Reback is lead organizer with 350PDX, one of the grassroots groups that helped persuade elected officials to pass the law. She says the campaign grew out of a decade of activism against coal, oil, and gas projects.

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Reback: “We were getting really tired of playing whack-a-mole, of fighting each individual project separately, making the same arguments and killing them one at a time only for the industry to pop up with a new proposal somewhere else in the region.”

So a coalition of groups from across the city worked together to pursue a more comprehensive solution.

Reback: “The fossil fuel industry is packing up, they’re going away and that’s exactly what we need to happen to mitigate and lessen the impacts of climate change.”

Reporting credit: Anna Moritz/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Bruce Lieberman

Bruce Lieberman, a long-time journalist, has covered climate change science, policy, and politics for nearly two decades. A newspaper reporter for 20 years, Bruce worked for The San Diego Union-Tribune...