Tell Wyden – No Fossil Fuel Subsidies

On Sept 13 the House Ways and Means Committee released an outline of proposed revenue-raising legislation for the Build Back Better Act. The draft text contains various tax reforms to fund President Joe Biden’s priorities and would end key international tax breaks for fossil fuel companies.

But it fails to eliminate domestic fossil fuel subsidies.

This is a key moment, and with over 500 allied groups and 50+ members of Congress strongly on our side, we can win. Sen. Schumer has already expressed strong support for ending subsidies, and he and Sen. Wyden (as well as President Biden) have positioned themselves as champions on the issue — this is their opportunity to prove it.

Can you email or call Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, to ensure fossil fuel domestic subsidies are eliminated in the budget reconciliation package? 

Sample script:

“Hello, I’m calling/emailing for Senator Ron Wyden. My name is xxx, I am an Oregon constituent, and I am calling to ask you to ensure that fossil fuel subsidies, both nationally and internationally, are eliminated in the budget reconciliation package. Thank you”

Feel free to add a reason too, e.g. “because my tax dollars shouldn’t be going to subsidize the biggest polluters on the planet”.

202-224-5244 ; Email here

Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network stated:

“Ending all fossil fuel subsidies is a top line strategy to end the climate crisis. One of the key solutions for building a just transition is to shift fossil fuel funding to Indigenous, Black, Brown, and other people of color communities confronting climate and environmental injustice. By failing to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, Chairman Neal and the Ways and Means Committee are ensuring billions of dollars of public money to flow to the biggest polluters on the planet at the expense of Indigenous Peoples rights, livelihoods, and well being. On behalf of our communities, all life, Mother Earth, and future generations, it is imperative that we stop the egregious cycle of corporate welfare for fossil fuels, end fossil fuel subsidies, and Keep It In The Ground!”

350PDX is recruiting new board members

Do you believe environmental policies and practices should center the needs of those hit first and worst by climate chaos?

Do you believe in a climate future grounded in racial equity?

Interested in building transparent, just and accountable systems?

Want to participate in creating a culture of climate resiliency, optimism, and anti-racism?

350PDX is recruiting new board members! And, if you answered yes to any of these questions, that could be you!

We are a grassroots, climate justice organization that engages in direct action and organizing to challenge fossil fuel development. We are part of the Portland Clean Energy Initiative Coalition, and are fighting for an Oregon Green New Deal. We are implementing a three year Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Plan, and we are in the midst of 2021-2023 strategic planning.

Our organization is run as a staff collective with 7 staff and 8 board members currently. There is no Executive Director and operational decisions are made by all staff via a democratic process, and the board offers support in a variety of ways to the staff team, in addition to holding standard legal responsibilities.

We are looking for folks with skills in: financial management and accounting for nonprofits, fundraising, staff-led collectives, JEDI work, environmental and climate policy, organizing, and/or legal expertise. We value the wisdom that comes from lived experience on the front lines of climate chaos and the extractive economy, and strongly encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and other candidates of color who hold those experiences. Ideally, board members have 10-15 hours a month to commit. In alignment with our desire to remove barriers to board participation, small stipends (approximately $150/month) are available to all board members.

If you want to learn more, please email Jamie Pang (Jspang.lclark@gmail.com) and Anais Tuepker (anais@350pdx.org), telling us a little about yourself and why you’re interested to join the board. We’ll ask for your resume and for answers to our board application questions. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with no set deadline right now. Please feel free to reach out with any questions and share with folks who may be interested! We look forward to hearing from you!

Download and share our flyer here!

Download (PDF, 726KB)

WE DID IT! City of Portland denies permit for Zenith Energy!

Today, after over three years of dedicated grassroots organizing, the City of Portland has listened to thousands of us and denied the land use permit for Zenith Energy’s crude oil facility. WE DID IT!

In an unambiguous statement this morning, the City declared that Zenith’s oil-by-rail storage and transfer facility is inconsistent with the City’s land use rules, and denied them from receiving a crucial Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS). Now, Zenith must stop transporting tar sands and crude oil entirely. By denying the LUCS, the City concluded that Zenith’s oil-by-rail operations are inconsistent with our own land use goals, following years of policy commitments to reduce carbon emissions, address the climate emergency, and oppose oil trains.

In his statement on the denial, Commissioner Dan Ryan wrote “It is time to stop kicking our declarations down the road of intention—and start acting with the urgency needed at this critical time in history.” We couldn’t agree more.

For over three years, thousands of community members (like you!) have been fighting this crude oil facility, everywhere from the streets, the river and train tracks, to the courtrooms and City Hall. The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners20 Oregon state legislators, and 46 neighborhood organizations all separately submitted letters and statements demanding this permit be denied. Tens of thousands of people marched in the streets, signed petitions, and made calls.

When we organize, we win. This announcement is yet another example of how when people come together, we can stop the fossil fuel industry from continuing to destroy our climate, our communities, and our shared future. Grassroots organizing works.

Zenith thought this permit would be a simple and easy box to check, one they’d get by just putting their fancy lawyers in front of City officials. But we didn’t allow it. Together with our amazing coalition partners (shout out to Columbia Riverkeeper, Breach Collective, CedarAction, Willamette Riverkeeper, Portland Harbor Community Coalition, Families for Climate, NAACP Portland, Portland Youth Climate Council, Stand Up to Oil, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Oregon Sierra Club, XRPDX, Sunrise PDX, Portland Audubon, and more!) we shined a light on this process and made this an issue the City could not ignore. You helped us to that. We did this together. Read the response from us and our amazing coalition members here.

Want to keep fighting and winning against the fossil fuel industry?
Sign up to join our Fossil Fuel Resistance team!

Support our successful work stopping the fossil fuel industry from destroying
our communities and our climate here!

No oil trains or tar sands in Portland! Take action to Stop Zenith.

No tar sands or oil trains in Portland! Take action to Stop Zenith!

A critical moment is upon us! We need you to join us to stop Zenith Energy from continuing to put our communities at risk with its dangerous oil-by-rail operation.

In a matter of weeks, the City of Portland will make a critical decision that will impact the immediate health & safety of Portland’s residents and the integrity of the climate. The City will decide whether Zenith’s facility in NW Portland is consistent with the City’s land use goals. The obvious answer: It’s NOT!

Years of your hard work and advocacy have led to this decision point. Now more than ever, we need you to use your voice to demand that the City of Portland deny any new permits for Zenith. In the face of the climate emergency, Portland has the opportunity to say “NO!” to this dirty oil company and assert our vision for a sustainable city—one that values community and environmental health over profits for fossil fuel companies.

It’s critical that any decision on this dangerous fossil fuel project be throughly investigated, including an analysis of the risk and harm to existing land uses, health and safety, and tribal resources.

Now is the time to mobilize and we need you to join us. Here is the most important thing you can do to help us stop Zenith:

  • Call Portland City Council Members to demand they say no to Zenith oil-by-rail and to conduct a thorough tribal consultation process:
    • Dan Ryan
      Dan Ryan oversees the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), which will make the decision regarding Zenith’s Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS).
      CommissionerRyanOffice@portlandoregon.gov
      503-823-3589

      Mingus Mapps
      MappsOffice@portlandoregon.gov
      503-823-4682

      Ted Wheeler
      mayorwheeler@portlandoregon.gov
      503-823-4120Jo Ann Hardesty
      joann@portlandoregon.gov
      503-823-4151

      Carmen Rubio
      Comm.Rubio@portlandoregon.gov
      503-823-3008

Victory! The Energy Affordability Act passes!

Victory! On Thursday, with bipartisan support, the Oregon Senate passed a historic bill for working families across the state. The Energy Affordability Act, which will help low-income families afford their energy bills, will now move on to Governor Brown’s office for her signature. This bill is the first of three pieces of environmental justice legislation put forward and supported by the Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity campaign, led by frontline climate and environmental justice groups statewide and supported by allies like 350PDX.

“The high electric bills that people have to pay month to month have caused many families to struggle,” said Maria Dolores Torres, a 25-year resident of Beaverton and a mother of three. “I support the Energy Affordability Act because this bill will change the lives of many community members and low-income families like mine. As I was raising my children, many times I had to choose between giving them healthy foods or maintaining a warm home. It was very difficult to pay high electric bills and on top of that pay other utilities as well as keeping up with monthly rent. This bill will help change that.

You can read more about this exciting win at www.cleanenergyoregon.org/en/news/hb2475-victory. If you want to know more about how you can help this campaign to create good local jobs, reduce pollution, and improve energy resiliency by transitioning to 100% clean energy, please contact Dineen O’Rourke at dineen@350pdx.org.

In solidarity,

Indi & Dineen

Coalition Manager and Campaign Manager, 350PDX

Want to help us build on this exciting momentum? Please consider making a donation to support this critical work in support of frontline communities!

Make a donation to 350PDX today!

Another victory: Multnomah County votes for fossil fuel-free buildings!

Our movement is becoming unstoppable in the fight against fracked gas.

After permanently stopping the Perennial WindChaser fracked gas power plant yesterday—what could be the last new gas power plant in Oregon—we also won a major victory against the gas industry in Multnomah County.

Yesterday, the Multnomah County Commissioners passed a Fossil Fuel Free Buildings resolution, which bans the use of gas in new County buildings. The resolution asserts that it is now “[Multnomah] County policy to oppose the use of fossil fuels in new building projects” and to “work with energy providers to reduce the use of fossil fuels at existing buildings through efficiency and the replacement in part or in whole with less or non-emitting renewable or low-carbon alternatives.” Read more from our Press Release here.

350PDX and 16 other organizations—representing youth, environmental justice, conservation, and clean energy constituencies— submitted a letter celebrating the County’s resolution while urging for a prohibition on gas in all new buildings in Multnomah County (not just County-owned buildings) and an actionable plan to transition existing gas use to clean energy.

We urged strong regulatory action due to the extreme and disproportionate health and safety risks associated with “natural” gas from the site of extraction, through transport, and where combusted; the rapidly growing evidence of the alarming health and safety risks of indoor gas usage and the efforts of the natural gas industry (reminiscent of the tobacco industry) to hide, downplay, obfuscate, and deny these risks; disproportionate effects of indoor gas pollution on marginalized communities; and the vulnerability of gas infrastructure to expected significant seismic events and the threat this poses to Multnomah County’s residents.

Will you join us in contacting the Multnomah County Commissioners now to echo these demands? We want them to know, loud and clear, that we all support this resolution as a first step towards fully and equitably electrifying all new buildings in Multnomah County. Our community’s health and safety and our climate depend on it.

Did you know that buildings account for about one third of Oregon’s climate pollution? And that buildings consume nearly 43% of all energy in Oregon? That makes buildings the largest source of climate pollution in Oregon after the transportation sector. (Read our letter to learn more about this.) That’s why cities and municipalities across the county are taking action to ban gas from being hooked up to new buildings, because constructing a new building today that will run on gas for decades is building new fossil fuel infrastructure that delays the necessary transition to clean and safe energy.

Let’s tell Multnomah County Commissioners where we stand by reaching out to them todayIt’s time for a fully Fossil Fuel-Free Multnomah County!

With excitement,

Dineen O’Rourke,
Campaign Manager, 350PDX

P.S. — You can support our ongoing fight for a livable future by donating today. Thank you!

BREAKING NEWS: We stopped a fracked gas power plant!

Amazing news!

After fighting the proposed Perennial WindChaser fracked gas power plant for the last few years, our movement has won!

In the face of sustained grassroots pressure and multiple legal challenges, Perennial WindChaser LLC has just abandoned its plan to build a new 415 megawatt fracked gas power plant in Umatilla County, OR! This is a huge win for our climate—if constructed, Perennial’s fracked gas plant would have been one of the top 5 largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the state.

This victory comes after years of grassroots organizing by our collective movement against fossil fuels. Together with our partners, we testified and wrote comments to the Energy and Facilities Siting Council, traveled to Salem to deliver a letter to Governor Brown and the Department of Energy from 14 organizations against the project, we got a national media outlet to cover the story, and continually educated the public about this dangerous project. You were a part of this victory with us, Chris.

We are grateful to our partners at Columbia Riverkeeper and Friends of the Columbia Gorge for taking both the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) and Perennial to court last summer. This happened when ODOE planned to illegally waive many of the preconstruction requirements in Perennial’s site certificate to allow Perennial to construct their facility—all while our state was suffering from catastrophic climate-induced wildfires. Perennial Windchaser LLC was sued for starting work without a construction stormwater permit, and their recent decision to terminate this project entirely came on the eve of the oral argument in one of these cases. You can learn more about these lawsuits and this recent victory here.

The victory gets better, too. Because of the amazing work happening in the frontline-led Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity legislative campaign that 350PDX is working hard to pass, Perennial WindChaser could be the last new fossil fuel generating plant in Oregon. The 100% Clean Energy For All Bill (HR 2021) includes a provision that would prohibit new dirty fossil fuel generating facilities. The era of fossil fuels is ending, and we’re fighting hard for a just transition to clean energy.

This news builds upon recent massive victories our collective movement has won this year, when both the Jordan Cove LNG and Kalama Methanol refinery were dealt major setbacks on the same day. I am consistently so proud of us and what we can accomplish when we work together, so thank you for being in this movement with us. You can support our ongoing fight for a livable future by donating today.

Time to to keep celebrating and keep winning! With excitement,

Dineen O’Rourke,
Campaign Manager, 350PDX

Photo credit: Allyson Woodard

PCEF funding passes

You might remember that way back in 2018, 350PDX volunteers collected over 8,000 signatures to get the Portland Clean Energy Initiative on the ballot. This initiative would go on to pass with 65% of the vote, establishing a a City of Portland grant program to fund clean energy projects, job training opportunities, and green infrastructure development thanks to a 1% tax on the wealthiest corporations in our city – the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF). Today, we are thrilled to share that last week, after two years of implementation and hard work behind the scenes, Portland City Council unanimously approved the first round of 45 PCEF grants for a total of $8.6 million! 100% of these grants will go to organizations that serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income communities, from job training in clean energy construction to culturally relevant community gardens. We’re looking forward to the next cycle of funding that is expected to total $30 million. You can check out the full list of this cycle’s grantees here!

We are so grateful to all of the staff, community organizations, volunteers, and City Councillors whose efforts have taken PCEF from vision to reality. If you feel called to do so, feel free to thank a Grant Committee member, a PCEF Staff Member, or a City Councillor that you know in the community! And if you contributed, in small and big ways, to the success of the PCEF Grant Program — thank you! Because of your efforts, we are closer to a clean energy economy that benefits all for the City of Portland.

Victory!! The 350PDX Forest Defense Team helped Oregon get a better Board of Forestry. 

Victory!! The 350PDX Forest Defense Team helped Oregon get a better Board of Forestry. 

With your support three new members were confirmed to the Board, and they will help make forest policy on state and private lands more climate friendly.

We’d like to thank Governor Brown for putting forward a strong and balanced slate, the Oregon Senate for confirming the nominees, and all of you who reached out to your state Senators for making it happen.

Did your Senator vote yes to the nominees?

See the list below. If your senator voted yes, please take a moment to thank your senator. Find out who your state senator is here, which also lists their contact details. Let them know we appreciate their vote to confirm the Board of Forestry nominees, which helps Oregon move toward climate-friendly forest practices.

Senators who voted yes:
Jeff Golden
Floyd Prozanski
Lee Beyer
James I. Manning Jr.
Sara Gelser
Deb Patterson
Peter Courtney
Betsy Johnson
Kate Lieber
Chuck Riley
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
Ginny Burdick
Kathleen Taylor
Lew Frederick
Michael Dembrow
Kayse Jama
Chris Gorsek
Brian Boquist

Thank you! And thank you so much to all the wonderful volunteers on the Forest Defense team, the Comms/Arts team, and everyone else who made this campaign such a success!

If you’d like to join the Forest Defense Team you can learn more at 350pdx.org/campaigns/forest-defense/