Port of Vancouver Approves Oil Export Lease, Governor Inslee Will Now Decide

For Immediate Release                                                                                                        July 23, 2013

Contact: Brett VandenHeuvel, 503.348.2436

Vancouver, WA- Port of Vancouver Commissioners voted this morning to approve a controversial 380,000 barrel per day Bakken oil terminal with the companies Tesoro and Savage. Governor Inslee will make the final decision about the fate of the oil project after review by the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council.

Oregonian’s report: Port of Vancouver approves big crude oil terminal amid safety concerns

Photo by Paul K Anderson

Photo by Paul K Anderson

Over 100 people packed the hearing room at the Port of Vancouver last night to attend a three-hour public hearing regarding the proposed oil terminal. Speakers unanimously opposed oil export, including ILWU Local 4, parents from the Vancouver/Portland group Climate Parents, members of the Rosemere Neighborhood Association, the Sierra Club, and Columbia Riverkeeper. The oil terminal would bring four full unit oil trains per day to the Port of Vancouver from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota.

“After the Port haphazardly rushed this lease, we look forward to Governor Inslee taking a hard look at the threat of Bakken oil trains and the shocking terminal on the Columbia River,” stated Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper.

Photo from Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Aftermath of oil train derailment & explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Photo from Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The July 6th oil train derailment in Quebec heightened public concern about the safety of oil trains and Bakken oil, which Commissioners had stated does not explode. The Port approved the long-term lease for Bakken oil, despite the ongoing investigation into the cause of the explosion in Quebec. Scientists are investigating whether oil from the Bakken formation is especially explosive.

“Now Governor Inslee needs to make the right decision and choose public safety and our climate over interests from Big Oil,” stated Vancouver resident and Climate Parent Caleb Connelly. Connelly’s nine year old daughter delivered over 14,000 petition signatures opposing the oil terminal to port commissioners at last night’s hearing.

The terminal would receive Bakken oil, or any other petroleum product, via trains passing through downtown Vancouver. Tesoro/Savage would store millions of gallons of oil in tanks on the banks of the Columbia River and then transfer the oil via pipelines to oil tankers.

Because the quantity of oil proposed is so large, Governor Inslee will make the final decision to deny or approve the terminal. The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council will make a recommendation to the Governor on the unprecedented project.

 

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Download press release here.

 

 

 


7 Responses to “Port of Vancouver Approves Oil Export Lease, Governor Inslee Will Now Decide”

  1. Claudette Ross says:

    Very scary. They have yet to retrieve all of the victims in the Lac Megantic explosion.

  2. George says:

    This is very serious stuff, folks. An oil port of this scale located on a river byway as important as the Columbia, right in the middle of a major population center of the Pacific Northwest (not to mention our home also being the center of the alternative energy and environmental movements in the united states). Besides the obvious issues of global warming, the safety risks of mile-long oil trains rumbling through the communities along the river, the size of the port itself so close to large urban/suburban communities, and the absurdly large scale of the entire proposal is completely out of proportion and inappropriate. There are many levels on which one can attack this scheme, it’s up to us to come up with every conceivable argument against, or our neck of the woods will be permanently changed and spoiled.

    • Luc Guimond says:

      Bungle in the jungle

      MMA filed bankruptcy in Hermon, Maine. Quebec wants compensation. Savage was invited by Rotary today to talk about safety. I would like to hear BNSF. Oil trains should only be operated by responsible companies who care about urban areas.
      Luc Guimond

  3. […] Port of Vancouver Approves Oil Export Lease, Governor Inslee Will Now Decide (July 23 Columbia Riverkeeper) […]

    • Luc Guimond says:

      Bungle in the jungle

      MMA filed bankruptcy in Hermon, Maine. Quebec wants compensation. Savage was invited by Rotary today to talk about safety. I would like to hear BNSF. Oil trains should only be operated by responsible companies who care about urban areas.
      Luc Guimond

  4. […] Port of Vancouver Approves Oil Export Lease, Governor Inslee Will Now Decide (July 23 Columbia Riverkeeper) […]

  5. Robert Paulson says:

    If Vancouver, WA’s, Bakken oil terminal and Columbia Gorge rail shipment is approved, I’m sure these trains will carry more oil for export than NW consumption, and wherever it is “consumed” it will give off some of the dirtiest smoke in the world. We need to reduce pollution, not add to it. And yet, the safety factor of shipping is an entirely different matter. Simply put, it cannot be as “safe” as our pure western waters deserve, or as out population needs.
    In addition, I have little doubt that if/once the trains are approved, the volume of oil will increase, and it won’t just come from the Dakotas. If the Keystone Pipeline is turned down, its oil will flow through the gorge, too, and if it is approved, Keystone’s excess oil will come our way.
    Why take dirty oil from everywhere when risks of catastrophe and pollution are so high, when improved alternatives are ramping up?
    Humankind is brilliant in so many ways, and unbelievably shortsighted and idiotic in so many others. Without strong breaks being applied in advance by a societal conscience, we will continue to destroy ourselves.