Climate group blocks Zenith Energy tracks

Civic Affairs

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A climate action group with an international presence blockaded railroad tracks at the Zenith Energy facility in Northwest Portland Sunday morning.

The group, Extinction Rebellion, dumped a load of top soil near the tracks at 5501 NW Front Avenue, then planted a “Victory over fossil fuels garden” and placed a tiny house near the tracks.

In a live Facebook post, Extinction Rebellion member Ken Ward said “Zenith is the poster child for governmental inability to act in the face of unbelievably arrogant and globally deadly fossil fuel company behavior.”

According to Zenith Energy’s website, “The Portland Terminal is capable of receiving, storing, and delivering heavy and light petroleum products via Panamax sized vessels, railroad and truck loading rack.  The Portland Terminal also offers heating systems, emulsions and an on-site product testing laboratory.”

The climate group began their occupation shortly after 6 a.m. and said in a release there are 22 people at the site.

A photo from the Extinction Rebellion Portland Facebook page showing the "Victory over fossil fuels garden" that is blocking the railroad tracks at the Zenith Energy facility in Portland, April 21, 2019

The local group is part of Extinction Rebellion‘s “International Week of Rebellion” that they say has chapters in 49 countries. This occupation also began on the eve of Earth Day, which is April 22.

They also released a letter they said they sent to Mayor Ted Wheeler and the Portland City Council to inform them “that we have rezoned the industrial corridor in which this facility is sited, which also houses numerous other fossil fuel operations, from an Employment and Industry base zone to an Open Space designation.”

The group also said they want the City Council to make this rezoning official “but we are not waiting for such measure to begin enforcing our own code.”

The BBC reported Sunday Extinction Rebellion has offered to “pause” the protests that have disrupted London for the past week.

A total of 831 people have been arrested during the climate change protests and 42 people charged, the BBC said.

KOIN 6 News will have more information later.

Extinction Rebellion letter to Portland City Council

 

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