Friday, January 28, 2022


The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.


Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.


Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Blocked Portland Oil-By-Rail Facility Faces One More Test


Monday, December 20, 2021   

An effort to block an oil-by-rail facility in Portland could be solidified this week.

This summer, the city of Portland decided to deny a land-use compatibility statement for the Texas-based company Zenith Energy, which receives oil via trains, stores it, and then it sends it to ships.

Noelle Studer-Spevak, board member of Families for Climate, which is among a coalition of groups working to stop the facility, said people have been fighting for it because there has been a dramatic increase in oil-by-rail traffic.

"We are so grateful and heartened that we're actually looking out for the health and welfare of our citizens and not seeing companies from outside Oregon run over us and our well-being and our land-use laws," Studer-Spevak asserted.

Zenith Energy said it plans to increase the amount of renewable energy, such as biofuels, moving through the facility. The company emphasized its plans are in compliance with Portland's zoning codes and comprehensive plan. It has appealed the city's decision to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, which is expected to decide the case Thursday.

Studer-Spevak pointed out one of the biggest concerns is about potential accidents, which could affect Portland neighborhoods.

"I'm thinking particularly to Northeast and North Portland along the tracks," Studer-Spevak explained. "There are lots of front-line community members right there standing to lose the most if there were a major disaster."

Studer-Spevak also noted most if not all the oil coming into the terminal is not being used by Oregonians, but destined to refineries in Washington state and California.

"Portland was bearing the most risk with the least to gain by allowing this transloading facility to continue operation right here in our community," Studer-Spevak contended.

Studer-Spevak believes more communities should stand up against the shipping of fossil fuels.

"I hope more people join the fight to hold this thin green line that keeps our oil in the United States and doesn't send it out to the rest of the world," Studer-Spevak urged.

Studer-Spevak is also advocating for wide-scale adoption of electrification in Oregon to move it away from fossil fuels.

get more stories like this via email
Solar energy would have been used to replace carbon-based power sources under Arizona's proposed clean-energy plan. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)


Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …

Social Issues

When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …

Social Issues

South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …

Older Washingtonians take more prescription drugs on average and so are disproportionately affected by rising drug costs. (kmiragaya/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …


The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…

The new grants are via the 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital program, which also calls for $25 billion to repair roads and bridges. (Adobe Stock)


The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …

Health and Wellness

Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …

Social Issues

More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021