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Mayor Piercy Signs Fossil Fuel Petition

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy signed on to a West Coast-wide petition Nov. 21 that calls for politicians to halt all new adoption of fossil fuel infrastructure. Using the political momentum behind the Portland City Council’s landmark Nov. 12 vote to ban any new fossil fuel infrastructure in that city, the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN) is hitting up mayors in Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver B.C. and other cities from California to Canada sign the petition. 

“I find this petition is very much in line with the position our City Council has taken on climate change and transporting fossil fuels, and I have signed on,” Piercy writes in an email to EW. “Eugene has been very engaged in reducing the impacts of climate change, having passed perhaps the most aggressive climate ordinance in the nation.” In July 2014, the city of Eugene passed an ordinance declaring its plans to be carbon neutral by 2020. 

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales came close to signing on to a $500 million deal with the Pembina Pipeline Corporation out of Canada in 2014, but instead rejected that decision under heavy advocacy from Portland’s environmental activist community. 

Portland’s decision means the city opposes all projects that would increase the transportation or storage of all fossil fuels in the city’s limits or in its waterway.

The SEEN petition lists dying rivers, burning forests and freak storms as the many new fruits of carbon emissions. It specifically targets city mayors and council members to put into law new measures against fossil fuel consumption.

The petition’s goal is to leave at least “80 percent of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground” and invest in a “just transition” to a clean economy, meaning a steady transition to family-supported jobs and support for people and communities bearing the brunt of climate change impacts. Read the petition at nonewffi.org/sign.

Climate change and homelessness are among the topics that will be discussed by West Coast mayors in mid-December when they convene in Portland to talk about common challenges and regional solutions. The mayors include Hales, Piercy, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Portland City Club will present their discussion noon Dec. 11, and it will be aired on OPB’s Think Out Loud.

The fossil fuel petition is also supported by 350 Eugene and 350 PDX.