Portland's Fossil Fuel Policy Raises Commerce Questions

Law360, New York (December 3, 2015, 1:45 PM EST) -- Last month the City Council for Portland, Oregon, directed its staff to develop recommended zoning and building code amendments that implement a new city policy of "actively oppos[ing] expansion of infrastructure whose primary purpose is transporting or storing fossil fuels in or through Portland or adjacent waterways."[1] In doing so, Portland moved beyond the more limited expressions of opposition to the transportation of fossil fuels by rail that other West Coast cities, including Seattle, Oakland and Berkeley, have made. However, Portland's action raises federal Commerce Clause and preemption questions that will likely play out as amendments are considered and adopted....

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