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Is Charlie Hales Missing the Mark on Emissions Reduction?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

 

After announcing that his tenure as Portland’s Mayor would end in 2016 after just one term in office, Charlie Hales has seemed to focus his efforts on stymying climate change in the Portland area. While Hales’ efforts to reduce the city’s emissions are noble, he may be going about it the wrong way.

In October, in advance of his trip to Paris, France for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Hales attended a meeting of Mayors devoted to combating the effects of climate change in their city, dubbed the “#ClimateMayors.” At the meeting, Hales outlined bold goals for the City’s carbon emissions in the coming years.

He called for a “40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030” and a “80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050.” As of 2013, the City of Portland had achieved a 14 percent reduction in greenhouse gases from 1990 levels.

In the “#ClimateMayors” report, Hales said the City would reach those goals by doubling the numbers of solar panels installed by 2020, meeting 100% of City electricity needs from renewable power, adding to the city’s fleet of electric vehicles and proposing a  policy addressing fossil fuel export facilities in the City Council.

Meanwhile, according to data from the EPA, Hales could meet his own goals simply by shutting down Portland’s the three largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the city, which emitted a combined 257,741 metric tons of CO2e. Doing so would eliminate percent of the city’s carbon emissions when compared to those 1990 levels.

Reducing Emissions

Portland has a total of six facilities registered with the EPA’s greenhouse emissions reporting program. The program, begun in 2011, forces 85% of the nation’s top emitters to report on how much GHG they have emitted. 

According to the most recent EPA data, Evraz Oregon Steel, the St. John Landfill and the Northwest Natural—Oregon facility are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases in portland, collectively emitting 323,832 metric tons of CO2e in 2014. 

Evraz Oregon Steel, a metal plant on Rivergate Boulevard, emitted 113,756 metric tons of CO2e in 2014, the most in the city. The St. John Landfill, located on North Columbia boulevard and the Northwest Natural—Oregon facility, a petroleum and natural gas system plant, are next on the list emitting 84,755 metric tons and  59,113 metric tons, respectively

In 1990, Portland emitted 8,599,508 metric tons of CO2e. In order to hit the climate plan goals, the City of Portland must reduce their emissions by 3,439,803 metric tons by 2030 and 6,879,606 by 2050. 

Eliminating those three leading emitters would eliminate 257,741 metric tons per year, a reduction of nearly 30 percent of 1990 levels every year, enabling the City of Portland to easily hit its climate goals ahead of schedule.

 

Related Slideshow: 20 Oregon Facilities With The Most EPA Fines

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#20

Jasper Wood Products LLC, Jasper

Total Penalty Amount: $21,000

Latest Penalty Amount: $9,600

Quarter Out of Compliance: 0

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#19

RSC Dairy LLC, Tillamook

Total Penalty Amount: $24,000

Latest Penalty Amount: $12,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 0

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#18

Oak Lodge Sanitary District, Milwaukie

Total Penalty Amount: $27,250

Latest Penalty Amount: $6,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 

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#17

Forrest Paint Co., Eugene 

Total Penalty Amount: $29,400

Latest Penalty Amount: $3,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 1

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#16

East Side Plating Inc. Plants, Portland

Total Penalty Amount: $3,222

Latest Penalty Amount: $19,800

Quarter Out of Compliance: 2

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#15

Darigold, Portland

Total Penalty Amount: $42,496

Latest Penalty Amount: $42,496

Quarter Out of Compliance: 0

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#14

Owens-Brockway Glass, Portland

Total Penalty Amount: $43,200

Latest Penalty Amount: $8,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 11

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#13

Oregon Door Inc., Dillard

Total Penalty Amount: $50,000

Latest Penalty Amount: $50,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 12

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#12

Export Global Metals,  Hillsboro

Total Penalty Amount: $51,000

Latest Penalty Amount: $17,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 0

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#11

Crop Production Services, Tangent

Total Penalty Amount: $55,100

Latest Penalty Amount: $50,100

Quarter Out of Compliance: 0

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#10

Kanto Corporation, Portland

Total Penalty Amount: $58,200

Latest Penalty Amount: $58,200

Quarter Out of Compliance: 0

Photo Credit: Kanto Corporation website. 

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#9

Cascade Plating & Machine, Eugene

Total Penalty Amount: $61,200

Latest Penalty Amount: $20,400

Quarter Out of Compliance: 2

  

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#8

Gunderson Inc., Portland 

Total Penalty Amount: $66,222

Latest Penalty Amount: $8,800

Quarter Out of Compliance: 2

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#7

U.S. Army Umatillla Chemical Depot, Hermiston 

Total Penalty Amount: $89,840

Latest Penalty Amount: $5,600

Quarter Out of Compliance: 3

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#6

RSG Forest Products, Molalla

Total Penalty Amount: $108,400

Latest Penalty Amount: $108,400

Quarter Out of Compliance: 0

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#5

Johnson Crushers International, Eugene

Total Penalty Amount: $174,778

Latest Penalty Amount: $147,778

Quarter Out of Compliance:

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#4

Jeld-Wen, Klamath Falls

Total Penalty Amount: $$231,640

Latest Penalty Amount: $120,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 12

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#3

Ash Grove Cement Co., Durkee

Total Penalty Amount: $398,279

Latest Penalty Amount: $398,279

Quarter Out of Compliance: 0

Prev Next

#2

TDY Industries Inc., Albany 

Total Penalty Amount: $825,000

Latest Penalty Amount: $825,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 12

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#1

ATI Allvac Albany Operations, Albany 

Total Penalty Amount: $2,475,000

Latest Penalty Amount: $825,000

Quarter Out of Compliance: 9

 
 

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