Oregon’s largest city became the first in the nation to ban the building of major fossil fuel terminals and the expansion of existing ones after a unanimous city council vote on Wednesday.
The city council used zoning codes to enact the ban, which will go into effect in January, and will prevent the construction of any new terminals for transporting or storing coal, methanol, natural gas, and oil. Other West Coast cities made similar moves earlier this year: Vancouver, Washington, banned new oil terminals and Oakland, California, banned coal terminals.
In the wake of the Trump election, it’s clear that the federal government won’t be taking climate action, so environmentalists are increasingly looking to cities to adopt climate change–fighting policies — and those cities might want to follow Portland’s lead.
“What we’ve done in Portland is replicable now in other cities,” Portland Mayor Charlie Hales told InsideClimate News. “Everybody has a zoning code.”
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also encouraging cities to take action. “Mayors and local leaders around the country are determined to keep pushing ahead on climate change,” he wrote recently, “because it is in their interest to do so.” It’s also in all of ours.