At a critical bend in the Columbia River Estuary, a company called NEXT Renewable Fuels, Inc., is seeking to build a new, massive renewable diesel refinery. The proposed refinery at Port Westward would be one of the largest producers of renewable diesel on the West Coast. Meanwhile along the North Reach of Willamette River in Portland, Zenith Energy, which has been shipping Bakken crude and Tar Sans oil through Portland for the past 6 years, has promised the city that in 2027 it will replace the fossil oil it has been shipping with renewable diesel.
On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Audrey Leonard, staff attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper, about what renewable diesel is and why we should be concerned about Oregon becoming a major hub for refining and distributing what the fossil fuel industry is touting as a climate solution.
Photo by Paloma Ayala