On August 22, the Oregon Transportation Commission voted to approve nearly $5 million in subsidies for rail and dock infrastructure tied to coal export and oil-by-rail projects. Of that amount, $2M will go directly to expand the dock used by Global Partners at Port Westward, paving the way for the firm to significantly increase the amount of crude oil it can receive via rail and load onto vessels to deliver to U.S. West Coast refineries.
Background: Without public hearings or notification, Massachusetts-based Global Partners began exporting oil from Port Westward in 2012 at the site of a publicly financed and short-lived ethanol terminal near Clatskanie, Oregon. Explosion-prone Bakken oil trains travel through the Columbia River Gorge, Portland, and St. Helens among many other cities on the way to the export terminal.
The Port Westward terminal was permitted by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to handle 50M gallons crude per year. In March, Global Partners was slapped on the wrist with a $117,000 fine for exporting six times the legal maximum.
Portland Rising Tide opposes fracking in the Bakken Oil Fields and the environmental devastation that it wreaks. We oppose turning the Columbia Gorge into a conduit for massive fossil fuel trafficking. We oppose state and federal subsidies of the fossil fuel industry. Check our site frequently to get updates on our efforts to stop oil-by-rail in the Pacific Northwest.