#JustTransitionNow #Keepitintheground

Sweetwater Nanuck of Washington Idle No More
Photo Credit: JC Epong

“‘No new fossil fuel infrastructure’ is the right rallying cry for this moment in history, a stand that would galvanize the rest of  the planet and demonstrate where the future lies.”                                       — Bill McKibben, 350.org


News Coverage

On The Air

Listen to this press conference to hear leaders and organizations representing millions of North Americans call for no new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Watch The Real News coverage of West Coast mayors committing to new new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Hear coverage of #nonewffi on Radio Ecoshock.


Winona LaDuke Honor the Earth
Bill McKibben 350.org
Tom Goldtooth Indigenous Environmental Network
Kathleen Rogers Earth Day Network
Van Jones Green for All
Daphne Wysham Sustainable Energy & Economy Network
Adriana Voss-Andreae 350PDX
Patricia Hine 350 Eugene
Michael Brune Sierra Club
Erich Pica Friends of Earth-USA
Annie Leonard Greenpeace USA
Kieran Suckling Center for Biological Diversity
Rev. Lennox Yearwood Hip Hop Caucus
Lisa Hoyos Climate Parents
Anna Myers Government Accountability Project
Kjell Kühne Leave It In the Ground
Clayton Thomas Muller Defenders of the Land
Brett VandenHeuvel Columbia Riverkeeper
Jenny Holmes Oregon Interfaith Power and Light
Ross Hammond Stand
Emily Johnston 350 Seattle
K.C. Golden Climate Solutions
Jodie Evans Code Pink


On December 14, 2016, Portland, OR’s City Council unanimously approved a binding ordinance prohibiting new fossil fuel export infrastructure from being built within the city’s limits. A white paper produced by Nick Caleb and 350PDX describes the first-of-its-kind ordinance and the power that locally elected leaders have to regulate the fossil fuel industry.
The ordinance is an outgrowth of a grassroots movement that pressured Portland, OR, Mayor Charlie Hales to take a step no other mayor in the U.S.—and  perhaps globally–has yet taken: He submitted a Fossil Fuel Resolution to the Portland City Council in November of 2015 calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure within his city’s limits. The Portland City Council voted 5-0 to pass Hales’ landmark resolution opposing all projects that increase the transportation or storage of all fossil fuels in Portland or in its adjacent waterways. The resolution was the most far-reaching of its kind in the country. It encompassed all fossil fuel types; it directed the City to codify the language into law; and it included strong language around  a “just transition” for workers economically dislocated by the city’s change to a clean, sustainable economy.
The actions that led up to Portland Mayor Hales calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure show that a committed citizenry can push their elected officials locally to respond to the climate science, despite the gridlock at the state, national and international level, by pushing forward innovative policies at the local level.
This emphatic ‘no’ to new fossil fuel infrastructure is consistent with the scientific demand to keep 80 percent of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground. But it also opens up the political and economic space  to say ‘yes’ to the just transition to a clean economy we all need.

Frequently Asked Questions About Portland’s Fossil Fuel Resolution

  1. Why does it matter?

The Pacific Northwest is threatened by unprecedented projects to export coal, oil, and gas through our region. Policy resolutions are fine, but Portland’s resolution will make an on-the-ground difference. The City Council directs staff to propose changes to city laws to protect Portlanders from dirty fossil fuels. City laws about land use, public health, safety, building, electrical, nuisance, and fire can all be updated to prevent fossil fuel impacts. Portland’s resolution takes a strong stand against this fossil fuel infrastructure andhas the teeth to succeed.

  1. Is this the first of its kind?

Yes.  Other cities have passed strong resolutions opposing fossil fuel infrastructure, but Portland’s directive to change city law to protect against fossil fuel transport creates the strongest resolution in America.

  1. Can the resolution stop fossil fuel projects? 

Yes. Portland and other municipalities have broad authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents.  Specifically, Portland can use land use zoning, public health and safety laws, and fire codes to determine what type of industry is proper. For example, Portland recently rejected a propane export terminal proposed by Pembina because the terminal violated city zoning to protect the Columbia River. The Pembina example demonstrates that Portland has real authority to approve or deny fossil fuel terminals.

  1. What about federal preemption? Is the resolution just symbolic?

Due to federal preemption, Portland cannot block all fossil fuel transport. Federal law, for example, limits city regulations of trains and interstate pipelines. Portland is taking a smart approach by asking city planners to do everything they can, within the law, to stop fossil fuel transport and infrastructure. Example: While Portland cannot block all oil trains, Portland does have the authority to deny an oil shipping terminal if the project violates land use zoning or fire codes. This would have the effect of preventing all the oil trains needed to serve the terminal. The resolution, therefore, is not just symbolic.

  1. Can other cities do this?

Yes.  Many cities and towns are concerned about the impacts of fossil fuel infrastructure. Each municipality should undertake a review of existing laws and consider whether changes are needed. The significance of Portland’s action will be magnified as more cities take action.

  1. Does this mean no more gas stations?

No. Portland’s resolution states it is not intended to restrict service to end users, such as cars, ships, or homes. The resolution also does not restrict the improvements in the safety or efficiency of existing infrastructure.

  1. How does Portland’s resolution relate to international climate talks?

Portland is taking action as a climate leader now, instead of waiting for a top-down federal government climate policy, showing that cities can act today to address fossil fuels and climate change. Cities can also lead by example and send a powerful message to the world that climate action matters.

–Brett VandenHeuvel, Columbia Riverkeeper

About Us


The Sustainable Energy & Economy Network (SEEN) is a network of activists committed to working in alliance with peoples’ movements, grassroots groups, environmental justice allies, Native Americans and First Nations, the faith community, labor, and sustainable businesses in ensuring elected officials in the U.S. and Canada live up to their moral obligations of preserving a stable climate for generations to come.

We began this work on “no new fossil fuel infrastructure” in Portland, Oregon, in collaboration with 350PDX, whose mission is to build a diverse grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis, and other members of the Portland, OR, area Climate Action Coalition.


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