Oil Check Oregon

This could mean that the oil industry is simply not willing to give up, but their past history shows a different strategy. Over the last 3 elections, fossil fuel companies have put nearly $8 million into Oregon. The numbers for the first quarter of 2016 are still being finalized, but oil industry PACs have already put together tens of thousands of dollars in preparation for this year’s election.

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FERC’s judgment was heralded as a long-awaited victory by those who’ve been fighting the project for more than a decade but lost in the headlines is a window for the project to still be built.

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But unlike these other efforts Oregon has a chance to take a major step forward in addressing pollution this session. Transitioning utilities towards clean energy has the potential to be a huge win for a state that’s been struggling to reduce its emissions and has had a history of lingering; costly legislative fights on energy policy.

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"...all this money and influence seems to be in an effort to gum up the state’s political process and delay Oregon’s transition to cleaner energy sources."

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Oregon is set to step out ahead with its own voice on this discussion. Our state still gets about 30% of its energy from coal. Its harmful for health and its increasingly becoming a drastically expensive option to maintain. But it isn’t something the state has to be stuck with forever. Countries and states around the world have shown that a coal-free future works and Oregon can lead by being the first place to vote on choosing that future for its self.

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Through a web of direct donations, PAC contributions, and lobbying expenditures, fossil fuel interests have sought to block, delay and roll back popular protections for clean air and the environment.

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It has been a big week for environmental news in the Northwest. We saw three major victories for shifting our region towards a clean energy economy. These all came from completely different sides of the equation but make no mistake they are all tied to loosening oil and coal’s grip on our future.

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Here in the Northwest, we’ve recently passed impressive climate legislation of our own. Both states’ look poised to put a price on pollution. But make no mistake; the oil industry will do everything they can to stop it.

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The notion that people in Seoul and Brusan, Shanghai and Guangzhou don’t care about pollution is a myopic view. These aren’t just engines of endless growth fueled by energy. These are real people with the same desires for healthy productive lives as anyone in Seattle, Omaha or Boston. And they’ve made it clear coal is their past, not their future.

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Northeast state’s like Maryland might be better know for “Crab Cakes and Football” but right now they are running up the score on us in curbing pollution.

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The Oregonian is a paper divided. On the one hand are investigators like Rob Davis who continue the paper’s tradition of hard hitting stories on crucial issues, one that includes 6 Pulitzers since 1999. On the other, the Oregonian Editorial Board, which is quickly sinking the paper’s credibility by pushing a deeply anti-environment agenda out of step with its readership.

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The Longview Riverside Refinery is just one of many potential projects for region. But this situation is emblematic of a larger trend. Public organizations like the port are colluding with companies to shroud these projects in secrecy. Thankfully Northwesterners of all stripes are speaking out and keeping a watchful eye on our region.

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We don’t know how much influence these investments play into approving these projects. Yet funds for firefighters, schoolteachers and government employees (even members of the OIC) were all invested in projects that needed state approval.

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Many initially chalked the mayor’s statement today as a death sentence for the Canadian company plans. But immediately after, both Pembina and the Port made it clear that they are not giving up.

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The oil of Keystone XL infamy is on its way to Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia.

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Punting all millennial stereotypes of apathy and laziness into the nearest correctly labeled recycling bin, these two are suing the State of Oregon for not addressing climate change.

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As the most recent election-cycle spending figures show, coal, oil, and gas companies routinely make multi-million dollar bets that they can stand in the way of progress. And while the political landscape in Oregon looks favorable for action on key environmental issues at the moment, we can be certain that the fossil fuel industry will play politics with big money.

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Thankfully, Portlanders and concerned folks from around the region are speaking up about shipments of these fuels coming into densely populated areas.

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This bill has passed the Oregon legislature and been signed into law by Governor Kate Brown, but oil companies insist on wasting Oregonians time and money on arguments that have long since been ruled on.

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After years of loan repayments, legal battles and sparing production, the facility (renamed Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery) was sold to Global Partners in early 2012 for $94.2 million. This is a surprising amount for a struggling site, until it was revealed that the company planned to ship crude oil, not ethanol through the port.

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Oregon has had a clean fuels standard in the works for several years but the law was set to sunset this year. With the Governor's signature today, Oregonians can continue on the path to better health, more in state clean fuel jobs and a less polluted environment. But that's something that just doesn't sit right with oil companies.

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Oil is the most profitable industry in the world, period. Now oil industry is hiding behind phony organizations to protect its profits, kill clean air standards and attempt to confuse regular folks up and down the west coast.

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National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) markets itself as the voice of small business interests, but in reality works hand-in-glove with the oil industry opposition to clean energy policies. The organization is working actively to kill clean energy policy development in California, Washington and Oregon, among other states. NFIB historically has lobbied on issues that favor corporate interests and run counter to small business interests. The organization calls itself a non-partisan service organization but it consistently refuses to reveal its donors and has received millions in hidden contributions including $2.5 million in 2012 (source: CNN) to NFIB and its affiliates from Freedom Partners, a conservative advocacy group with ties to the Koch Brothers. (The Koch Brothers have a history of funding efforts, including NFIB, to kill statewide climate policies according to the Los Angeles Times and others.)

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"Bloomberg's business week gives us a glimpse into oil industry practices and what we can expect in Oregon. Reporter Brad Weiners says it best: "[I]t’s not paranoia if they really are out to delay, rewrite, or kill off a meaningful effort to reduce the build-up of carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere. A Powerpoint deck now being circulated by climate activists—a copy of which was sent to Bloomberg Businessweek—suggests that there is a conspiracy. Or, if you prefer, a highly coordinated, multistate coalition that does not want California to succeed at moving off fossil fuels because that might set a nasty precedent for everyone else."

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"What do Oregonians for Sound Fuel Policy, Californians for Energy Independence and Save Our Jobs all have in common? They’re all astroturf organizations that were “activated” by one fossil fuel lobbying group to derail green initiatives in West Coast states. Bill Moyers investigates this all-out attack on Oregon made and Oregon approved clean energy initiatives."

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