Dangerous Propane Terminal Proposal Headed for City Council

The hearing for Pembina Corporation’s proposed $500 million propane export facility in Portland took place April 7th, 2015. Its fate is not yet decided, but we’ll need every voice to sway the City Council members, and soon. Action steps you can take now are listed below!

Clean and Dirty Energy play Tug of War

Energy Tug-of-War (C) Robyn Gottlieb 2015

At the end of a marathon six-hour public hearing, the City of Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission approved a code amendment that paves the way for a proposed propane export terminal on the Columbia River.

But we still have a shot at stopping this short-sighted project. 

Speakers representing native tribes, labor unions, neighborhood associations, homeowners, students of all ages, and citizens of Vancouver came together before the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission to express their opposition to Pembina’s request for the amendment. Community members spoke with passion for the duration of the 6-hour public hearing.

Don’t forget to take action on this issue! Steps at the bottom!

Attendees at the hearing (C) Robyn Gottlieb 2015

“No Terminal” banners at the packed hearing (C) Robyn Gottlieb 2015

After several hours of eloquent testimony by people overwhelmingly opposed to the terminal, the Commission voted 5-5, a tie. A tie vote in this case should have meant the proposal did not receive approval. However, amendments to the proposal were put forth, changing Commissioner Teresa St. Martin’s vote in favor of the proposal.

At the rally before the hearing, more than 100 people holding “No Terminal” banners gathered to protest the proposed Pembina Corporation’s propane export terminal. A team of “fossil fools” lined up for a tug of war with “alternative energy activists” who donned solar panels and carried wind turbine blades. In the rally outside, as with the testimony delivered inside, the crowd clearly expressed to the Commission and Pembina CEO Mick Dilger that there should be “No Deal. Portland Does Not Pick Pembina.”

“Coal, oil, gas
None of these shall pass.
Leave them in the ground;
Turn the trains around.”

According to the organization Columbia RiverKeeper, “the Planning and Sustainability Commission’s approval of Pembina’s propane terminal is especially disappointing for the residents who live in the 5.3 mile blast zone radius of Pembina’s proposed propane export terminal”, one of many downsides to its construction.

The same Commission that approved the changes to Portland’s Conservation and Habitat Zoning codes to allow propane to be shipped through environmental zones also oversees the city’s Climate Action Plan. The Plan proposes a ban on coal and oil exports at the state level, though it pointedly omits gas (and propane) from the list of fossil fuels to ban. Approving a propane export terminal, however, seems to seriously undermine the nationally-acclaimed environmental leadership exhibited by the Climate Action Plan.

Now more than ever, it is important to stand in solidarity together for the Columbia River, Portland, Vancouver, the surrounding communities, ourselves, and future generations that will be impacted by the approval of such legislation. Speak loud and with conviction. Be acknowledged. Be heard.

— Call the Portland City Council Today! —

The Portland City Council will have the final say on Pembina’s propane terminal. With a positive recommendation from the Planning and Sustainability Commission it is critical that the City Council hear from you.  Calling sooner, rather than later, is critical. A phone call is more effective than an email.

  • Tell the City Council you do not agree with the Planning and Sustainability Commission’s recommendation on Pembina’s propane export terminal code amendment.
  • Share your concerns that Pembina’s terminal conflicts with the Climate Action Plan and public safety.

1) Call Mayor Charlie Hales, and Commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick (better than emailing).

Mayor Charlie Hales:

Phone: 503-823-4120
Email: mayorcharliehales@portlandoregon.gov
Request a meeting: Meet with the Mayor

Commissioner Nick Fish:

Phone: 503-823-3589
Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov
Request a meeting: aja.blair@portlandoregon.gov

Commissioner Steve Novick:

Phone: 503-823-4682
Email: novick@portlandoregon.gov
Request a meeting: bryan.hockaday@portlandoregon.gov

2) Like the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stopPembina

And post on your facebook page that you called Mayor Hales.

3) Join the twitter conversation. Tweet about your call!

Tweet your opposition using the hashtags #PembiNO and #NoTerminal to @MayorPDX

4) Come June 4th to the hearing

Still feeling compelled to do more? Email Meredith Cocks

Can you donate? You’d be surprised at how far $5 can go, even in the face of a $500 million propane facility!

Contributions to this story were made by Kathleen Worley, Tay Stone,  and Maya, members of 350PDX, as well as from Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Community Organizer with Columbia Riverkeeper. 

Read Columbia RiverKeeper’s full write-up of this hearing and more info on the propane terminal here.

More fun action reports!! Read about the Climate Action Coalition’s latest (respectful) take-over of City Hall in the Portland Mercury and watch the video in the Oregonian‘s article.

Protesters rally for a propane-free portland

Rally and chanting (C) Robyn Gottlieb