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Business and labor issue joint letter to City Council on Pembina proposal

Statement urges formal consideration and a ‘yes’ vote

June 8, 2015 

For more information, contact: 
Valerie Cunningham, or 503.552.6754

Portland, Ore. – Today, a group of regional employers and trade unions issued a joint letter to Portland City Council asking that Pembina’s request for city land use approval be given formal consideration and a vote in favor. The zone change would clear the way for the company to build a propane export facility in Portland. In May, the city’s Planning and Sustainability Commission approved the proposal with conditions. As the next step in the process, City Council would normally take up the recommendation. Instead, Mayor Hales has asked Pembina to withdraw its application.
The letter is signed by companies that represent more than 10,000 employees, and by trade unions representing approximately 25,000 workers. It states – “Making land-use decisions based on unwritten and unspoken “environmental standards” causes us fundamental concern. How could any business deciding to locate in Portland ever know what the standards are when new, unwritten and unspoken standards are brought up late in the process? In the Pembina case, Mayor Hales has allowed a minor zoning request to be turned into a referendum on a much larger issue that has no basis in city code.”
The Pembina facility is expected to bring up to 800 union construction jobs and 40 full time skilled-trades jobs to the region, about $12 million annually in local tax revenue, and net environmental benefits by displacing the use of dirtier fuels in other countries.