This letter was written by Alice Shapiro, one of our members.
I am infuriated that the Planning and Sustainability commission did not block the permit for Pemina’s proposed propane terminal. Now it is up to Portland city commissioners and mayor to stop this project. I strongly urge our elected city officials to honor the repeated requests of Portland residents to protect us from this dangerous project. For example, as stated by Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility,
“the hazard zone of Pembina’s propane export terminal extends downwind from the terminal. An accident at the planned facility could release enough propane for a flammable propane vapor cloud to drift up to 5.3 miles downwind, according to a risk assessment conducted by Pembina. Pembina’s operations risk the safety of St. Johns and Hayden Island residents and businesses, and extends to Sauvie Island, downtown Vancouver, and beyond the Interstate Bridge. What’s more, Pembina has not provided the commission with information about how hazards from propane trains and propane tankers extend into neighborhoods and downriver communities.”
This fact more than frightens me and our city commissioners have the power to prevent this and other potential tragedies.
In addition, I am concerned about the climate effects this project will have. Burning propane would release millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year, and this is counter to Portland’s climate action plans to reduce emissions locally. In a recent newsletter from the Columbia River Keepers (one of the numerous local environmental groups opposed to this project), “….Pembina’s operation at the Port of Portland alone would account for about 0.7% of Portland’s actual emissions…. And would produce about 0.01% of global CO2 emissions….” These data are shocking to me and do not even include the carbon emissions that would result from export, refining, and transport of the propane.
Portland will not be able to meet the carbon reduction goals stated in its climate action plan and would certainly contradict Portland’s recognition by the White House in 2014 as a Climate Action Champion!!
We must not allow this project to proceed.