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

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.

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.




Download press release here.