Over 500,000 Oregonians buy energy from Pacific Power that is mostly generated from coal. And Pacific Power wants to keep it that way.
Used to be Keep It In The Ground
Imagine that in 40 years’ time you are hiking the Eagle Creek trail with your favorite children and teens. It is 85 degrees in early March, and you remember a time when temperatures were much cooler. You think back before greenhouse emissions started to level off, to the fire of 2017. That was the summer of smoke and ash. That’s when Portlanders got a reminder that clean air, never to be taken for granted, can change as quickly as the wind changes direction. The water still falls in cascades in the Gorge, past lichen that grows nowhere else on the planet. Although there are signs of devastation on the trail, you also see abundant green signs of a forest recreating itself.
One of the young people asks you about that year of the fire, the hurricanes, and the floods, when it became so clear that climate disruption was escalating. She says, “People knew about the dangers of fracked gas and methane then, right? Did you know?” She pauses, “What did you do to stop it from coming to Oregon?” Read more
The Portland City Council voted unanimously to appeal the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) decision to reverse the Fossil Fuel Terminal Ordinance. Check out the short video from the City Council Meeting to hear why the City Attorney and all 5 City Council Members want to appeal the LUBA decision and fight to defend the fossil fuel ordinance.
July 19, 2017 (Salem, OR) – Today, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) ruled that Portland’s Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments, passed unanimously in December of 2016, is inconsistent with the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Portland’s fossil fuel policy intended to prevent new major fossil fuel infrastructure projects in the City. LUBA dismissed many of the other arguments brought by the oil industry and the Portland Business Alliance against the City’s policy. LUBA’s ruling is likely to be appealed to the State Court of Appeals.
We can no longer deny climate change. We know that there are solutions to our fossil fuel dependency. These changes will mean transforming our energy system. – Liz Trojan
This past December, PGE filed for an amended site certificate that would permit them to build two new natural gas power plants at the Carty Generating Plant in Boardman, OR. The Energy Facility Siting Commission (EFSC) has to grant the site certificate in order for PGE to begin construction.
We asked the community to tell PGE how they felt about the request and how expanding the capacity of the plant to use dirty fossil fuels would affect them. The response we got was overwhelming.
Over 300 concerned community members told 350PDX how they felt. Their appeals to PGE were personal, well-informed, and got straight to the point – Oregonians value the PNW’s natural environment and they want to protect it.
On April 27th the Portland EcoFilm Festival presented the fourth installment in its 2017 series to an enthusiastic crowd at Hollywood Theater. The “Filming the Fossil Fuel Resistance” event offered a sneak peek at the upcoming documentary The Reluctant Radical about climate activist and valve-turner Ken Ward, followed by a panel discussion with Ward himself, the film’s creators Lindsey Grayzel and Deia Schlosberg, and Grayzel’s attorney Braden Pence. Proceeds from the event go to support post-production efforts on The Reluctant Radical.
At 9am on April 29th, the top decision makers of Portland General Electric showed up at the World Trade Center for their Annual Shareholders Meeting to discuss, the opportunity to lock Portland into generating our power with fracked gas for 30 years. Imagine the shareholders’ surprise when they arrived and, instead of casually filing into the building, walked straight into a flash mob. As part of the Rally for Renewables, Portlanders bearing wind turbines and carrying sunflower umbrellas burst into a choreographed number: “Why, PGE?”, to the tune of Village People’s classic “YMCA”,” singing and dancing like their lives depended on it. Probably because our future does depend on this. Read more
On March 23rd over 300 activists rallied on the steps of the Capitol in support of the Clean Energy and Jobs Bill, SB 557. Senator Michael Dembrow, chair of the Senate’s Natural Resources and Environment Committee spoke to the gathered activists and encouraged us to let our legislators know that we care deeply about the need to put a price on carbon pollution. He said that leadership on the climate in Oregon is more important than ever as climate deniers have taken on key roles throughout the Executive Branch and Congress too is controlled by climate deniers.
On Feburary 23, 2017 organizers from a number of climate/social action organizations (listed below) joined forces to promote resistance to fracked methane being implemented as a fuel source for our local power grid, as well as for export to foreign markets. Methane – a greenhouse gas with 86 times the heat trapping potential of carbon – is being extracted from shale fields throughout the country with leaks are occurring regularly.
The technology already exists to transition to 100% renewable energy sources, however the incentive to do so for utility companies is lacking due to the reduced profit margins for shareholders.
PGE plans to build 2 new natural gas power plants at the Carty Boardman site using primarily fracked methane as their fuel source. Natural gas is being promoted as a cleaner bridge fuel to the future, however it is merely just another fossil fuel with a myriad of public health threats. Read more
On February 23rd, some fellow Sierra Club members trekked out to Cousins’ Country Inn in The Dalles. The Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) was holding one of their regular meetings where they discuss and eventually vote on which sites are granted the right to produce energy. Thus, they can either approve or deny the Carty/Boardman gas plants. Although the Carty gas plants were not on the agenda, public comment (of any sort) was – and thus a few of us wanted to voice our concerns with the proposed PGE gas plants.
The meeting took place in a small conference room, thus it was a very intimate setting. One very significant bit of information was gifted to us at the very beginning of the meeting. Very briefly, the secretary of the council informed the other council members that they received a complaint from the contractor that installed the initial gas plant pipes – which has been up and running since July 2016. Read more