Our Response to Progress on the Climate Emergency Declaration

Last year, on June 30, 2020, after hearing extensive testimony from Portlanders including Tri Sanger of XRPDX, the City Council voted unanimously to pass a Climate Emergency Declaration (CED).

Over a year later, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has produced the first annual report and asked for responses to it from the public. XRPDX was ready to go on that! Here is our testimony after reading and “digesting” the contents of the Report.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will present the one-year progress report to City Council on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 2 pm. Watch the Council session live on YouTube.

Here are some excerpts from XRPDX’s testimony:

Portland, Oregon, over the past year, has experienced the Climate Emergency in dramatic and tragic way, including heat dome deaths and unprecedented fire seasons. The City is at risk of continued catastrophes from expanded fossil fuel infrastructures and uncontrolled greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rise.

We agree with the Report’s emphasis on frontline communities’ vulnerabilities and the need for community involvement in policy development. We also encourage transparency and public education through published minutes and recordings of the Youth Summit, Climate Justice Initiative, Build/Shift workshops and other meetings/trainings convened by the City.

We called out one of the report’s major shortcomings: There was no mention at all of Zenith or their proposed expansion.

Report lacks any mention of Zenith Energy and the CEI Hub, including ongoing air pollution, risks of catastrophic accidents, and climate effects from burning tar sands and shale oil. The City promises to “advance initiatives led by the community.” Yet, over 9,000 petition signatories, countless letters and phone calls, including from BIPOC organizations such as Portland NAACP, on denying the LUCS to Zenith have not resulted in a positive City response centering the goals in this Report (non-expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, decreased emissions, protecting communities from pollution and disaster).

Read the whole testimony here!


XRPDX’s “Testimony on Climate Emergency Progress Report”

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