City of Astoria Opposes Oil-by-Rail along the Columbia River
In a unanimous vote, the City Council of Astoria, Oregon, passed a strongly worded resolution that opposes the Tesoro Savage oil-by-rail terminal, proposed upriver of Astoria in Vancouver, Washington, and other potential oil-by-rail projects on the Columbia River. Washington decision-makers including Washington's Energy Council, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and Port of Vancouver Commissioners have final authority over the controversial proposal to site the nation's largest oil-by-rail terminal along the Columbia River. The City of Astoria’s resolution notes that, “outstanding deficiencies present unacceptable risk levels for spills of crude oil entering the Columbia River and causing significant damage to the ecosystem.”
The city’s resolution marks the first time a municipality downriver of the proposed Tesoro Savage terminal weighed in against the project. The city joins upriver towns, cities, and counties along oil train routes that have passed resolutions opposing or raising concerns about oil-by-rail. Oil tankers bound for oil refineries on the West Coast or overseas markets would carry oil from Vancouver down the Columbia River—passing the community of Astoria—to the Pacific Ocean.
The City of Astoria’s resolution, adopted unanimously on August 7, 2017, will be entered into the record in EFSEC’s public comment period on the Tesoro Savage oil-by-rail terminal.
Columbia Riverkeeper salutes the amazing community activists from the Columbia River Estuary Action Team (CREATe) who drafted the initial resolution and spearheaded this effort. CREATe activists were instrumental in making the resolution happen. These and many other residents of the Columbia River Estuary packed the hearing room and provided compelling testimony on the significant threat of oil-by-rail to the Columbia River communities and the Columbia’s iconic salmon.
Check out Stand Up to Oil's website to see other communities across the region have passed resolutions and made statements opposing or expressing concerns about the dangers of oil trains and proposed terminals.