Portland city council passes resolution opposing oil trains - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland city council passes resolution opposing oil trains

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The Portland City Council made a unanimous vote Wednesday night to approve a resolution that would oppose oil train traffic in the Columbia River Gorge and Portland metro area.

The resolution opposes all proposed projects that would increase crude oil being transported by train through Portland and Vancouver.

According to a press release from Columbia Riverkeeper, the resolution stated the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, the largest oil terminal in the nation, poses a threat to the health, safety and water quality in the surrounding area.

A second resolution was presented to the council, but officials said council members decided to put it on hold for further discussion.

The second resolution would oppose the expansion or modification of infrastructure to transport or store fossil fuels in Portland, and would direct city staffers to enforce existing laws and to change city codes to reinforce the policy.

A large group of demonstrators gathered outside Portland City Hall earlier on Wednesday to show their support of the two proposed resolutions.

“As someone who is young - I'm just 23 years old - I'm terrified of climate change. I think that is the biggest threat to my future livelihood and has the most potential to harm my future quality of life,” Mia Reback with the group PDX 350 said. “And for that reason I really think we need to take these measures to stop new fossil fuel developments to really turn the course toward a cleaner, renewable energy economy.”

 Many rallied behind the resolutions at the council meeting including physicians, scientists and climate activists.

“We must protect our community, especially the most vulnerable, from the direct impacts of the oil-by-rail and other fossil fuel transportation,” said Dr. Patrick O’Herron, president of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility.

He added that negative impacts of fossil fuel transportation would include “exploding trains, degraded air quality, delays in emergency response time, and worsening of lung and cardiac conditions.”

Now that the first resolution has passed, the city will examine the environment review process for the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal.

Officials said a draft environmental impacts statement is expected in November.

The city council is expected to revisit and vote on the second resolution on Thursday, November 12.

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