Portland City Council is betting big on biofuels. Following a unanimous decision from the board on Wednesday, the sale of petroleum-based diesel will be phased out by 2030, an important step toward cutting emissions by 50% under the newly adopted climate emergency plan.
Getting there will be a gradual change, which officials hope will help to alleviate concerns over biodiesel supply. Starting in 2024, drivers of medium-sized and heavy trucks will be able to fuel up with petroleum diesel that’s blended with renewable fuels in increasingly larger increments.
The effort will lead to cleaner air by also diminishing diesel particulate matter, also called black carbon or soot, which can cause asthma attacks and respiratory diseases. This pollution is especially harmful to children and tends to be concentrated near low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
“This policy is what the clean energy transition looks like,” Commissioner Carmen Rubio said.