Stoel Rives: Working Both Sides of the Energy Industry

[Michaela McCormick gave this speech at XRPDX’s protest of Stoel Rives law firm on June 15, 2022. – Ed.]

Stoel Rives is two-faced about the interests they serve regarding renewable energy industries and the oil and gas industries. From one side of their mouths, they claim they are leaders in representing green energy and sustainability. They say they believe in leading by example. 

Out of the other side of their mouths, they proudly state that they work with leading oil and gas exploration companies and industry associations in support of expanding oil and gas exploration, production and leasing operations. They’ve been instrumental in trying to get permits for the infamous, now defeated, Jordan Cove Energy Project, with the associated Pembina natural gas and oil pipeline. They’ve also supported the defunct Palomar natural gas pipeline and the now-abandoned natural gas generation facility of Kalama Energy. (Not a great track record in the Pacific Northwest!)

And they continue fighting for Zenith Energy, the oil terminal corporation with a dangerous transshipment facility in NW Portland that Extinction Rebellion has been trying to shut down since 2019. XRPDX had a major mobilization at the Zenith gates on June 4, 2022.

These are only some examples of what Stoel Rives does that contradict their green self-promotion. They say they vigorously defend their clients against regulatory compliance challenges, enforcement actions and citizen suits. They tout their national reputation for helping oil and gas businesses navigate the complexities of the Endangered Species and Marine Mammals Protection Acts. They brag that they’ve successfully fought off antagonists trying to prevent development through species and habitat listings, and defended against suits claiming lack of compliance with existing regulations.

So which is it, Stoel Rives?  Do you defend the blooming of our earth or the dooming of it? Are you a law firm fighting for our health and well-being and a sustainable environment, or for whoever is the highest bidder? We all know who the highest bidders are.

About Michaela McCormick

Michaela McCormick is a white-bodied transgender activist currently working with Extinction Rebellion, and a Buddhist student/teacher drawing from many wisdom traditions. Her political/liberatory work includes teaching and organizing for the transformation of white supremacist, colonialist, patriarchal, earth-spoiling capitalism into just, compassionate, regenerative systems and relationships. For 25 years she worked as a teacher, trainer, and practitioner of conflict resolution and public dialogue. She has written two memoirs and now writes poetry and essays on social and spiritual themes.


Stoel Rives: Zenith Energy’s Legal Eagles

Open Letter to the Attorneys at Stoel Rives