These past few weeks, it’s come to light that members of the Portland City Council spent the end of last year striking a dirty backdoor deal with Zenith Energy.

Thousands of Portlanders have spent years calling for an end to Zenith Energy’s oil-by-rail operations. We’ve shown up to tell our city leaders that we don’t want dangerous oil-by-rail through our communities, putting our health, safety, and climate at risk. We thought in 2021 that the City was finally listening to us when they denied Zenith a crucial permit.

But last October, City Council turned their back on Portlanders and decided to grant Zenith a land use permit, allowing the company to continue bringing in crude oil trains for 5 more yearsThis decision was a shock – the City hadn’t made an effort to gather public input before granting the permit.

Now, with the truth coming to light, City Council’s decision makes more sense, and it’s even more clearly a betrayal. Records requests have revealed that Commissioners Rubio and Ryan were coordinating with Zenith officials to ensure they would receive their permit. And while the City was shutting out public participation, Zenith was treating Rubio and Ryan to VIP boat tours and site visits.

We deserve better — for our City Council members to be accountable to us, to listen to our concerns. We don’t deserve to have our elected officials going behind our backs, making a deal with an out-of-state oil company that is threatening our community’s health and safety. We’ve tried to engage with our City Councilors, but are largely being ignored and disrespected. So, we’re taking the fight to them.

Wednesday, Sept 6 @ 9am — We’re going directly to City Council. Join us!

In one week, join us in showing up in huge numbers at the Portland City Council meeting (at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave) on Wednesday, Sept 6th. Together, we’ll confront the City Councilors responsible for this backdoor deal and expose their reckless behavior to the Portland public and local media. 

We particularly want to hear from those of us who live in the Blast Zone of Zenith’s oil trains (that’s 250,000 Portland residents – check out this map to find out if that’s you).

We refuse to stand by while Portland City Council continues to put the health and safety of Portlanders at risk. We hope you join us on September 6th at 9am at City Hall.

Let’s do this,

Dineen O’Rourke,
350PDX Campaign Manager

P.S. While City Council has let us down, we are still doing everything in our power to show them that the people of Portland are saying NO to Zenith Energy’s oil-by-rail. Please join us in signing this petition demanding City Council rescinds the permit they granted Zenith through these dirty backroom deals. Together, we can make our voices loud enough that they can’t ignore us.