Portland’s city council unanimously approved a resolution Friday effectively preventing any new gas stations from being built.
The city’s resolution prevents the construction of new facilities to transport or store oil, gasoline, coal, and natural gas within Portland, Ore. The council didn’t unilaterally ban gasoline and oil to avoid violating interstate commerce laws, but the goal of the resolution is to make shipping of fossil fuels prohibitively expensive for companies in the name of fighting global warming.
“Our work is not done yet, but we feel that with this unanimous vote, there is good chance that the codifying language is going to be strong and signal to the fossil fuel industry that Portland is not open for their business” Adriana Voss-Andreae, director of a local environmental group, told the left-wing news site Climate Progress.
Environmentalists claim the resolution is a huge victory over energy interests. Not passing the resolution would have been “apocalyptic” according to activists, because Portland is an important crossroad for the global energy trade and contains several oil refineries and pipelines.
Portland has a history of extreme environmental activism. Activists with Greenpeace and other groups prevented an icebreaker participating in oil spill response for Royal Dutch Shell from leaving Portland by trespassing and hanging off a bridge for 29 hours last summer.
Activists claimed that if Shell couldn’t handle them, the company clearly wasn’t ready for the Arctic. The icebreaker successfully passed under the bridge despite chants of “F You Shell!” Activists are facing up to $25,000 in fines for blocking the ship, according to the United States Coast Guard.
Portland has previously divested its financial assets from coal, oil, and gas. The city also halted various petroleum and energy projects due to perceived environmental impacts.
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