Last week, Mayor Catherine Pugh signed the Crude Oil Terminal Prohibition and made it official: no new crude oil terminals in Baltimore City!
Over three years after launching a fight against a Texas oil company’s proposal for a crude oil terminal in South Baltimore, a strong coalition of residents, advocates, and community leaders has achieved a major victory for public health and safety, air and water quality, and the climate.
The Crude Oil Terminal Prohibition is the first law of its kind on the East Coast and follows examples set by Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington in 2016. Fossil fuel infrastructure bans in these cities are building a “green wall” of resistance in the Pacific Northwest — now, Baltimore has expanded this tactic to the East Coast. As our partners at Clean Water Action said, “If other cities follow Baltimore’s lead, we can all protect each other.”
Keisha Allen, President of the Westport Neighborhood Association and a core leader of the campaign, told the Real News Network after Mayor Pugh signed the bill: “It feels really good to have legal protection against crude oil terminals.” With this victory, residents and advocates will no longer have to worry about a new crude oil terminal being proposed in the city and can instead focus our energies on more equitable and sustainable alternatives such as community solar and offshore wind.
At a campaign celebration, the bill’s lead sponsor, Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, emphasized the importance of the extensive public comments and testimony submitted in support of the bill. And a staffer with the mayor’s office specifically noted all of the phone calls and comments their office received as a reason for the mayor’s support. All of this goes to show: organizing works!
Check out the photos and statements below from some of the leaders of this campaign: