Vancouver, WA Oil Terminal

Public meetings to vet the proposed 380,000 barrel-per-day Vancouver Oil Terminal were held in October, 2013 by the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSC).  Opposition was fierce. The EFSC received 31,000 public comments during the scoping process for the study.

Based on recommendations of the EFSC, the decision whether or not to build the terminal rests in the hands of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and, ultimately, the public.

The oil terminal being pursued by the Savage and Tesoro corporations would be the largest on the west coast.  Tesoro is responsible for the October 10th pipeline failure which spewed more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil into a wheat field in North Dakota. This is the same oil from the Bakken shale fields that the company aims to ship through Vancouver to domestic and/or foreign ports.

Concern and opposition to the proposed Vancouver, Washington oil terminal continue to increase significantly each time an oil train explodes.

The July 5, 2013 derailment of an oil train in  Lac-Mégantic, Quebec  caused  DOT-111 tanker cars  to  explode,  killing 47 peopleThe oil car derailment in New Brunswick on January 8, 2014 marked the fourth major oil train explosion in the past seven months “amid an escalating oil-by-rail boom that appears to have caught government regulators on both sides of the border flat-footed”, according to The Canadian Press.

Although Tesoro and Savage are known to be developing the terminal for crude oil shipments, RT  believes that an expanded oil terminal could eventually be retrofitted to handle domestic movement of tar sands or even tar sands exports.

Check back here for updated EFSEC news and plans for resistance.

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Brief History:

Plans to develop and operate the new 380K barrel-per-day (bpd) crude-by-rail unloading and marine loading facility in Vancouver, Washington were announced by Tesoro and Savage in April, 2013.  The Vancouver Port Commission voted unanimously to approve the plan in July.  “With their action…port commissioners underscored the fact that Vancouver has become an epicenter of global energy market gyrations and national environmental concerns.” the Columbian wrote on July 23, 2013.

In November, fifty activists with Vancouver and Portland Rising Tide blocked entrances to the Port of Vancouver, WA with a community picket line in response to the Port’s re-leasing of public land to Tesoro/Savage for the proposed construction of the oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver.  Trucks backed up down the block as work was delayed for the morning.

In December, the City of Vancouver sent a list of 100 concerns to the EFSEC as part of the council’s scoping process to decide what should be included in the environmental review of the project but fell short of opposing the project.