350PDX Testimony on the Comprehensive Plan Amendments

IMG_1297350PDX Staffer Mia Reback delivered testimony to the Portland City Council on April 27th about the Comprehensive Plan.

“Thank you City Council. My name is Mia Reback and I am here today to speak on behalf of 350PDX, The Center for the Sustainable Economy, and the Climate Action Coalition in support of amendments #P43 and #P56 to add policies to reduce carbon emissions and limit fossil fuel distribution to the comprehensive plan.

#P43: New policy after 4.63

Reduce carbon emissions. Encourage a development pattern that reduces carbon emissions.

#P56: New policy after 6.48

Fossil fuel distribution. Limit fossil fuel distribution and storage facilities to those necessary to serve the regional market.

Last November, Portland once again set itself apart as a climate leader by passing the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive ban on fossil fuel infrastructure, on the grounds that ALL fossil fuels are unsafe and unhealthy for our communities and to ensure we meet our climate action plan goals.

Thank you all for voting yes on the fossil fuel resolution and for your commitments to implementing the policy in the strongest way possible. Adding the principles of the fossil fuel policy into the Comprehensive Plan is a critical step to incorporating our climate goals into other aspects of our City Planning.

While the challenge of addressing climate change is great, there is also so much to gain by the radical transformation the climate crisis demands of us.

This is exemplified by Policy 6.6 in the plan: Low carbon economy. But we can do more with this policy to help set the stage for our renewable energy future by amending the policy to a “low carbon and renewable energy economy” and list “the production of renewable energy” as an employment opportunity associated with this policy.

Diverse, expanding city economy.

6.6. Low-carbon economy.

Amend title to add “and renewable energy”

New title: “Low-carbon and renewable energy economy.

Amend text to add “the production of renewable energy

New text: Align plans and investments with efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce lifecycle carbon emissions from business operations. Promote employment opportunities associated with the production of renewable energy, energy efficiency projects, waste reduction, production of more durable goods, and recycling.”

350PDX is working for climate justice and to ensure that those who have been historically left out of the fossil fuel economy are the first to benefit during the transition to a renewable energy economy and post-fossil fuel era.

This is just one of many reasons why we are supporting The Anti-Displacement PDX Coalition and support their stance on amendments and measures including opposing downzones in high opportunity neighborhoods. 350PDX is committed to addressing the housing crisis and ensuring that our green city is affordable for all Portlanders.

I’d like to close by thanking Mayor Hales for proposing these amendments, and Michael Armstrong and others at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability for their work on policies to reduce carbon emissions, limit fossil fuel infrastructure, reduce local demand for fossil fuels, and to build a robust clean energy economy in Portland.

We previously submitted supplemental written testimony on behalf of 350PDX and the Center for Sustainable Economy in support of these amendments, prepared by former Corvallis land use planner Patricia Weber.

Thank you all for your time and please vote yes to add P43 and P56 to the Comprehensive Plan.”