Conservative media sites are having a field day with the latest outrage from the whackjob farm of Portland—a town so left-wing that it just banned new gas stations to stop global warming.
"Portland's city council unanimously approved a resolution Friday," Daily Caller energy reporter Andrew Follett writes, "effectively preventing any new gas stations from being built."
Before your forward this item to your uncle or post it to your Facebook wall, please note a caveat:
The Portland City Council did not do that.
As WW reported in this week's cover story, city commissioners unanimously voted Nov. 12 (it was a Thursday, but why quibble?) to block the expansion of fossil-fuel pipelines, tanks and terminals within city limits.
The council's intention is indeed to take a stand against climate change.
But as WW noted, the rules have a major loophole to allow fossil fuels to reach Portland customers.
This "end user" clause says city planners, who are otherwise instructed to ban new pipes and tanks, must make an exception if the gas is going to someone using it locally.
That includes a new Chevron station—because the gas is being pumped within Portland city limits, it's kosher.
WW asked Mayor Charlie Hales' chief of staff last night to explain the city's intentions.
"The carefully crafted resolution took into account the need for gas stations and other everyday uses that we're accustomed to," says Hales' chief of staff, Josh Alpert. "And that's why the 'end user' language was part of the resolution."
You may feel this raises several additional questions about the resolution's usefulness and possible hypocrisy. We encourage you to consider these ethical quandaries in the comments.
But please bear these facts in mind:
A terminal shipping liquid propane to China? Portland banned it.
A new Shell station? It's welcome here.
Just don't try to pump your own gas.