This past week has been an exciting time in the campaign to #StopZenith. Read on for a recap of the fight throughout the summer, learn some key recent updates, and see where we’re headed next and how you can get involved.

June 11, 2023 — two hundred people gathered on the Willamette River to Paddle Zenith Out of Portland. Together, we demanded that Portland City Council rescind their approval of Zenith’s dangerous oil by rail facility.

We were also gearing up for a summer (and fall!) of action on this campaign, with Portlanders coming together yet again to fight for healthy communities, ecosystems, and climate.

June, July, and August 2023 — Over 60 people sign up to Stop Zenith directly by taking action on the Willamette, and even more show up to trainings hosted by our friends at Mosquito Fleet to gear people up for taking action in kayaks. Many people got trained this summer, and many visited the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub by boat for the new River Toxics Tours hosted by the Mosquito Fleet.

Aug 2023 — records requests revealed that members of the Portland City Council spent the end of 2022 striking a dirty backdoor deal with Zenith Energy – ensuring Zenith would receive a permit to expand their oil-by-rail operations for 5 more years.

The City’s decision to approve the Zenith’s land use permit was a shock last year – the City hadn’t made an effort to gather public input before granting the permit. Now we know the truth: while the City was shutting out public participation, Zenith was treating Rubio and Ryan to VIP boat tours and site visits.

Read more about this from Street Roots and Desmog Blog.

Sept 3, 2023 — Folks from Extinction Rebellion PDX drop anchor in a motor boat in front of a Zenith Energy ship to prevent them from exporting crude oil from Portland’s Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub, while Mosquito Fleet activists assembled nearby in kayaks.

Direct action to stop oil ships from coming down the Willamette helps to gain attention from the public and decision-makers like the City Council and Governor Kotek, and it also costs Zenith time and money. Read more and see photos of the action here.

Sept 6, 2023 — Together with our friends at Bike Loud PDX, we filled the City Hall chamber with folks in red to  confront City Council about the need for more public safety and an end to fossil fuels. We highlighted the City’s backdoor deal with Zenith and exposed their reckless behavior to the Portland public and local media.

We don’t deserve to have our elected officials going behind our backs, making a deal with a corporation that is threatening our community’s health and safety. Our movement also delivered nearly 1,000 petition signatures demanding the City rescind the LUCS permit for Zenith.

So what’s next? Join the fight to Stop Zenith!

City Council betrayed us, but we can still make it crystal clear to the public, the media, and Governor Kotek that Portlanders don’t want oil-by-rail running by our homes, putting our health, safety, and climate at risk. By turning up the heat on City Council, we can push them to rescind the permit they granted Zenith, or get Governor Kotek to step in. Either way, we need our representatives to stand with the people, not a Texas-based oil company that’s willing to sacrifice communities in service of its bottom line.

Do you live in the Blast Zone of Zenith’s Oil Trains?

We have an interactive map where you can input your home, work, or school address and see how close you are to the “blast zone,” or the federal evacuation zone. More than a quarter of the population of Multnomah County lives within the half-mile blast zone. Derailments unfortunately have occurred and will continue to, since transporting explosive, chemical-laden fossil fuels at high speeds will always be inherently dangerous. Many living near these rail lines may not even be aware of these potential dangers, and should a derailment or collision happen, few local governments even have the equipment or trained personnel to deal with an accident involving large amounts of such volatile materials.

If you live in the Blast Zone, your voice in this fight really matters. You have a personal stake in this issue and City Council should personally hear from you. We are specifically working with neighborhoods and people who live in the Blast Zone to help them get organized in this fight. We have yard signs for you and we can help you host a neighborhood party so your neighbors can learn more about this issue, too. Just reach out to Dineen ( about either of these and we’ll get you connected.

Thanks to our FFR Team Co-Lead, Story, for designing these yard signs! Come to a meeting or to the 350PDX office to pick one up to put in your yard or apartment window if you live in the Blast Zone.

Join the 350PDX Fossil Fuel Resistance Team

We are continuing to fight against Zenith Energy, mobilize neighborhoods who live in the Blast Zone of oil trains, as well as working to stop the GTN Xpress gas pipeline expansion, advocate for a Fossil Free Multnomah County, fight for clean and healthy buildings across Oregon, and support frontline-led fossil fuel fights nationwide. Contact Dineen ( and Melanie ( to learn more about the team and plug in. Our next meeting is in-person in NE tomorrow (Tues, Sept 12) evening (5:30 pm), email Dineen and Melanie to join!

Call & email Portland City Council to demand they rescind the LUCS (Land Use Compatibility Statement) for Zenith:

Carmen Rubio

(Commissioner Rubio oversees the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), the agency responsible for land use permits like the LUCS)

Dan Ryan

Ted Wheeler

Mingus Mapps

Rene Gonzalez

Tell Governor Kotek to step in and protect Oregonians by stopping Zenith:

Thank you for all you do for climate justice and for this campaign. Together, we believe that we will win! We just have to keep on the pressure.

Let’s do this,

Dineen O’Rourke and Eloise Navarro
Campaign Manager and National Fossil Fuels Organizer,

P.S. We hope you’ll also join us in the streets this Friday (Sept 15) for the Portland Youth Climate Strike! Come to  City Hall at 11 am. Learn more by following @PortlandClimateStrike on Instagram.