Building Trades Council joins group challenging Portland’s ban on new fossil fuel terminals

The Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council has joined a coalition challenging a new City of Portland ordinance that restricts the development and expansion of bulk fossil fuel terminals.

The yet-to-be-named coalition includes the Portland Business Alliance and a wide range of businesses along the Portland Harbor that are part of another group, the Working Waterfront Coalition.

The ordinance, sponsored by out-going mayor Charlie Hales, changes zoning codes in order to halt the construction of new large fossil fuel terminals — and the expansion of existing facilities — within city limits.

The ordinance passed City Council Dec. 14 by a unanimous vote.

Willy Myers, executive secretary of the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council and spokesman for the coalition, said the new zoning ordinance was done in violation of Oregon’s land-use laws.

“It’s not only bad policy for the citizens of Portland, but also to the entire state, since 90 percent of all the basic fuels we consume pass through the City,” Myers said in a press statement.

Myers said that disallowing new fossil fuel infrastructure within the City of Portland “could create an energy bottleneck in meeting the needs of businesses and households across the state and lead to increased costs if supply is constrained, which could hamper economic growth.”

The coalition is preparing to file a petition for review with the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).

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