Zenith’s Greenwashing Ploy

On September 15th, Zenith Energy announced that, if the City of Portland granted their Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS), they would move towards 100% renewable fuels in the next five years. In earlier communications, they had committed to 50% renewables in five years. Clearly Zenith Energy and their lawyers at Stoel Rives are getting a bit nervous about losing round after round through the legal system. But Zenith needs to stop all fossil fuel activity now, not five years from now. 

In the City’s Terminal Zoning amendment revision that passed in August, the City exempted bio/renewable fuels from the regulation. Extinction Rebellion has major concerns about the problems with bio/renewable fuels. Bottom line: bio/renewable fuels are not the answer. 

As we move with a coalition of other groups into a new round of community education and action on Zenith, let’s remember that Zenith has time and time again not told the truth about its operations. They have been caught lying, paid some small fines, and continued on. The City needs to stay strong and not grant Zenith the LUCS that it wants.  Train watching in the spring showed that the vast majority (95%+) of the trains at Zenith were carrying crude oil, not renewable diesel. There should be regulators who go out to the CEI hub and monitor the operations first hand. 

In terms of pending catastrophe, the CEI Hub is the most dangerous place in Portland and  bio/renewable fuels explode and burn just like fossil fuels. We need to reduce all fuels in the CEI hub, not expand them. We need better public transit, not more dangerous fuels. We need a walkable, bikeable Portland, not more polluting fuels.

Zenith Energy’s announcement is nothing but greenwashing by a nervous company.  

About Margaret Butler

Margaret Butler was born and raised in Portland and spent 40 years in the labor movement. Upon retirement, she embraced climate justice activism with Climate Jobs PDX and XRPDX.


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