First U.S. City To Ban Fossil Fuel Expansion Offers Roadmap For Others

On a clear July morning three years ago, dozens of environmental activists pushed their kayaks into the Willamette River in Portland while others rappelled 400 feet from the top of St. Johns Bridge in an attempt to block a Shell Oil ship and its drilling equipment from leaving the port and entering Alaskan waters. A key piece of Shell’s arctic drilling fleet, the vessel had arrived in Portland for repairs but its departure was delayed by protesters chanting “coal, oil, gas, none shall pass!” during two days of civil disobedience that became known as Summer Heat. By the time the vessel finally sailed, the stage had been set for what would be a yearlong battle, culminating in an ordinance that banned construction and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the city.
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