Labor leader interviewed on terminal
By Vancouver Energy On March 20, 2017
Mike Bridges, President of the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council, was interviewed recently on News 101 KXL (Portland-Vancouver) about labor’s support for the Vancouver Energy terminal.
Bridges told host Lars Larson he was happy that the Port of Vancouver earlier this month allowed an extension of the Vancouver Energy lease. If the Port hadn’t done so, Bridges said, “it just sends the wrong message to anyone else who’s looking to do business in Washington State.”
Bridges said that many members of his local union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48, live in Southwest Washington but can’t find work in their communities.
“Our members have been struggling to find work opportunities in Southwest Washington, so we’re pretty excited to have our members be able to work closer to home (with the Vancouver Energy terminal),” he said.
Tri-Cities leaders support terminal
By Vancouver Energy On March 14, 2017
Derek Brownson, a Tri-Cities business executive and president of the Pasco Chamber of Commerce, and Colin Hastings, executive director of the Pasco chamber, wrote recently in the Tri-City Herald about why the state should approve the Vancouver Energy project.
For more than three-and-a-half years, (the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC)) has been reviewing Vancouver Energy’s proposal to build an oil terminal on industrial land at the Port of Vancouver. Project proponents say the facility will generate $2 billion in economic value, create hundreds of jobs on-site and hundreds more in the surrounding community, and improve American independence from foreign oil sources. These benefits will be felt around the state, including here in the Tri-Cities.
EFSEC should approve the Vancouver Energy terminal, the Tri-Cities business leaders write.
Trains headed to Vancouver Energy will travel through Pasco, and the Tri-City Herald noted that the terminal “would also bump up business at BNSF Railroad’s Pasco hump yard, where the railroad has committed to inspecting every train carrying crude before it heads down the gorge toward Vancouver.”
Port Commission extends terminal lease
By Vancouver Energy On March 8, 2017
Thank you to those who came to voice their support for Vancouver Energy at the Port of Vancouver Commission March 7.
Last year, the Port Commission approved a modification to our lease that extended the Conditions Precedent Outside Date to March 31, 2017, with automatic extensions of successive 3-month periods. At yesterday’s meeting the Commissioners voted 2-1 to not cancel the lease, thereby allowing an extension to the lease through June 30.
The intent of this approach was to facilitate a regular check-in on the status and progress of the EFSEC process and other relevant regulatory developments. Based on that intent, Vancouver Energy sent a letter to the Port Commission last week with an update on the process and on the safety changes that have occurred since entering into the lease. The changes are not limited to the project site, but extend across the entire supply chain.
Terminal provides update to Port
By Vancouver Energy On March 3, 2017
Vancouver Energy sent a letter this week to Port of Vancouver Commission President Brian Wolfe to update the Port Commission on progress in the permitting process for the terminal.
The letter, which you can read in full here, describes the most significant changes and improvements to both the project and to the whole supply chain since the project’s inception. The letter reinforces that the state’s EFSEC permitting process is progressing and making an already great project even better.
Vancouver Energy has responded to feedback from the public and from EFSEC and voluntarily committed to numerous new safety measures covering marine and rail transportation, terminal safety, emergency response and oil spill prevention.
Among the most significant changes is a commitment from Vancouver Energy to begin operating the terminal at 50 percent of its optimal throughput and to allow the terminal to increase capacity only after operating with no material public safety or environmental incident for a 12-month period, including transportation to and from the terminal. Read about this commitment and others here.
Terminal would cut crude oil imports
By Vancouver Energy On February 27, 2017
Tesoro, a joint-venture partner of the proposed Vancouver Energy terminal, says the project would cut the amount of crude oil Tesoro currently imports to the U.S. from other countries. The project has the potential to displace 30 percent of all crude oil imported to the West Coast today.
The Vancouver Energy terminal will accept midcontinent North American crude oil and ship it to West Coast refineries, which will convert the oil for U.S. consumption. Nearly 40 percent of the oil used for transportation fuels on the West Coast is from foreign sources. To date, there is lacking infrastructure to move crude oil from the midcontinent to the West Coast in sufficient quantities.
The new terminal at the Port of Vancouver USA, along with increased consumption of crude oil from Alaska’s North Slope, could substantially offset the crude oil that Tesoro currently imports, Tesoro CEO Greg Goff told Argus Media.
BNSF invests in Washington
By Vancouver Energy On February 22, 2017
Since 1873, BNSF Railway has been the primary freight transporter in Washington. The company has about 4,000 employees in Washington and owns about 1,300 route miles of tracks in the state, making Washington a key part of the company’s national rail network.
BNSF recently announced that its 2017 capital expenditures include $175 million for Washington, second only to Texas and Illinois. The money will go toward replacing and upgrading rail lines, new safety measures and new equipment.
The investments make sense, according to Keep Washington Competitive:
This (investment) is understandable as railroads are a vital piece of Washington’s economy – significant renewed investments are needed and welcome. As of 2014, Freight rail made up 7.5% of Washington’s GDP and supported over 342,000 workers in the state. Furthermore, household incomes were $13.4 billion higher than they would be without the railroads.
Terminal meets Tri-Cities community
By Vancouver Energy On February 17, 2017
Dan Riley, Vice President of Government Affairs for Tesoro, met with employers, community leaders and elected officials this week as the speaker at a Pasco Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Keep Washington Competitive was there with more details.
“This is an exciting project, one that will enhance the energy independence of our state and our region, by displacing the need for foreign crude oil,” Riley said. “We believe we can operate this facility safely and in an environmentally responsible way. Our partners, like BNSF Railway, are also committed to providing the necessary upgrades that will benefit everyone in the Tri-Cities, particularly those in agriculture who depend on safe, efficient and reliable freight rail service.”
BNSF makes commitments to EFSEC
By Vancouver Energy On February 15, 2017
BNSF Railway has long been committed to safety in its operations. Now BNSF has made even more extraordinary commitments to safety for the trains coming to the Vancouver Energy terminal, all of which will travel on BNSF’s tracks.
The Vancouver Business Journal reports that BNSF has made the following new commitments at the request of the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), which is currently reviewing the terminal project.
--Inspection of every oil train traveling to Vancouver Energy, at the BNSF rail yard in Pasco or another location in Washington
--Inspection of rail track throughout the Columbia River Gorge 24 hours in advance of a Vancouver Energy-destined loaded crude oil train
--Triple the number of “geometry cars,” which are cars with sensors, X-rays and other technological equipment used to detect defects and other issues on the rail track. BNSF currently runs two geometry cars each year; the railway says it will run them six times a year once the Vancouver Energy terminal opens.
Terminal commits to the community
By Vancouver Energy On January 12, 2017
In a recent interview on KXL-FM, Vancouver Energy General Manager Jared Larrabee discusses the project’s numerous commitments to safety. These commitments include starting operations of the proposed terminal at 50 percent of optimal capacity, and allowing capacity to increase only after demonstrating the safe operation of the facility.
Starting operations at half of capacity is part of a larger commitment to ensuring the project is a safe, reliable and beneficial for the state, region and country, Larrabee said.
Fundamentally, we believe that we need to use our North American resources on the West Coast; that we need to displace that foreign crude oil that we're using; and that we need to be able to convert our North American fuels into the fuels that we use on the West Coast for our daily life. We also heard the concerns that were raised on public safety and environmental protection and we believe that a commitment like this demonstrates our commitment to being sure that (the terminal) is operated safely and in an environmentally responsible way.
Survey shows support for crude by rail
By Vancouver Energy On December 13, 2016
A new survey from G2 Public Strategies shows that a majority of Washington voters support shipping crude oil by rail and believe that shipping products by rail is safe.
Most Washington voters also support making the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil, according to the survey. Go here for the survey’s full results.
The Vancouver Energy terminal will safely transfer North American crude oil from rail to ship. The terminal will decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil by potentially displacing 30 percent of the crude oil currently imported from foreign countries for use on the West Coast.
BNSF describes rail safety measures
By Vancouver Energy On December 2, 2016
John Lovenburg, vice president, environmental of BNSF Railway, writes today in the Puget Sound Business Journal about the railway’s commitment to safety in Washington.
There are important conversations about freight rail safety and emergency response underway in our country and BNSF welcomes and is actively engaged in those conversations. Safety is the foundation of what we do, and for us, nothing is important than operating safely.
Rail transport is vital to Washington’s economy – $28.5 billion each year in positive economic impact, according to a recent study by the Washington Council on International Trade. Trains haul grain to our ports, automotives, plane fuselages and containers full of clothes, processed food, TVs, computers, furniture and many other products to consumers here and across the nation.
Labor, business leaders support permit
By Vancouver Energy On November 29, 2016
Labor and business leaders spoke at a public hearing today in support of Vancouver Energy’s construction stormwater permit. The permit is a normal part of the state of Washington’s robust permitting process. We’re confident the terminal’s design and plans for construction and operations will meet or exceed all relevant water quality standards.
The two companies building the Vancouver Energy terminal, Tesoro and Savage, are committed not just to meeting or exceeding all permitting and environmental standards but in being good corporate citizens.
To learn more about Vancouver Energy’s commitment to stormwater management, listen to this interview on KXL-FM with Tesoro Consulting Environmental Engineer Doug Price.
At today’s hearing, Rob Rich, Vice President for Marine Services at Shaver Transportation, said Tesoro and Savage have shown through their plans to manage stormwater, materials and water quality that they will meet or exceed all state and federal requirements during the construction of the terminal.
Vancouver Energy helps local schools
October 17, 2016
By Kris Greene, a Vancouver small business owner, member of the East Vancouver Business Association and former president of the Evergreen School District Foundation in Vancouver.
Opponents of the Vancouver Energy terminal try to say the project will have little value to the state, but this assertion is simply wrong.
The project will provide 300 construction jobs, support 1,000 total direct and indirect jobs every year, bring in $1.6 billion in labor income and more than $2 billion in total economic impact. In Vancouver, Clark County and Southwest Washington, this is a huge impact.
I can speak specifically to schools and other public services. In addition to the other benefits I mentioned, Vancouver Energy will produce an estimated $7.8 million in state and local taxes every year.
Terminal proposes throughput changes
By Vancouver Energy On October 7, 2016
Vancouver Energy is offering significant changes including staking its proposed Port of Vancouver USA facility throughput growth on safety performance of the terminal and its rail and marine partners.
“We heard the concerns about safety and environmental protection raised through the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) process. We are proposing being judged by our actual performance. We offered to begin operations at 50 percent of the optimal throughput, and significantly, only allowing this throughput to increase after demonstrating the facility operates safely,” said Vancouver Energy General Manager Jared Larrabee.
Business leaders critique state permitting
By Vancouver Energy On September 29, 2016
Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, and Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, wrote in a recent op-ed in the Puget Sound Business Journal about Washington’s current regulatory environment for energy projects, including Vancouver Energy.
Terminal addresses need for energy
By Vancouver Energy On September 20, 2016
Earlier this month Vancouver Energy filed its post-adjudication hearing brief, laying out facts in support of the terminal and responding to claims from intervenors in the case. The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) is now conducting its review after the 5-week adjudicative proceeding held in June and July.
The 98-page brief from Vancouver Energy concludes that because the oil-by-rail terminal “addresses a pressing need for energy and employs reasonable and available methods to minimize adverse effects of the Terminal, EFSEC should recommend approval.”
Here are some highlights:
--Vancouver Energy will help meet the critical need for petroleum in Washington and the rest of the West Coast, especially as the supply of Alaska North Slope crude oil continues to decline over the 20-year life of the terminal. The terminal will enable a steady, reliable supply to new North American crude oil to West Coast refineries while other major domestic sources of oil are in decline.
Vancouver Energy helps aerospace industry
August 22, 2016
By John Ley, a pilot for Delta Airlines and a resident of Clark County for more than 20 years.
The Boeing 767 that I fly needs jet fuel that comes from petroleum. Boeing is our state’s largest employer. The company's planes could not fly without jet fuel refined from the same kind of oil that will be handled by the Vancouver Energy terminal.
The proposed terminal provides domestic crude oil that is integral not just to the Washington aerospace industry, but to our state’s way of life.
The economies of the entire West Coast are tied together by refined oil products. West Coast agricultural products are shipped all over the world. Diesel fuel powers the ocean-going barges and ships that frequent the ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.
Terminal creates jobs, energy independence
August 16, 2016
By Miles Bond, a longtime Vancouver resident.
It is exciting when I consider that my state has the opportunity to play a key role in our country’s pursuit of energy independence. With the proposed Vancouver Energy oil terminal, Washington State will provide an important link in securing our nation’s energy future by supplying West Coast refineries with North American crude oil from the Bakken formation.
We have much to gain when American crude oil supplants our nation’s foreign oil consumption, and the United States becomes more energy self-sufficient. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, petroleum products will be an integral part of our nation’s energy consumption for decades to come until alternative energy sources are viable. Crude oil that is produced by Americans for domestic use reduces the amount of U.S. dollars sent overseas to foreign governments – many of whom don’t share our interests.
Vancouver Energy boosts public services
August 11, 2016
By Ann Donnelly, a Vancouver businesswoman and a leading regional advocate for the mentally ill and their families.
Our city, region and state are in urgent need of economic development, especially family-wage jobs. The City of Vancouver has a homelessness crisis, Clark County has a projected $20 million shortfall in its general fund and the state of Washington is out of compliance with court orders requiring it to provide for the mentally ill and for public schools.
These crises can’t wait, and the Vancouver Energy oil-by-rail terminal will help in very significant ways.
Terminal will provide opportunities
August 4, 2016
By Willy Myers, executive secretary-treasurer of the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council.
Washington is fortunate to be home to so much innovation and prosperity. And yet there’s unease for the future among many working in traditionally blue-collar professions.
People have told me they are concerned about being left behind and question whether there’s a place for them in the current economy. We’ve all certainly heard it in the campaign rhetoric. We’ve seen it on the faces of our family, friends and neighbors who are reaching for their share of the American dream.
All candidates running for office say they support job creation and will advocate for opportunities to grow the economy. I have often heard that Washington needs to attract “world-class” jobs and talent, and the Vancouver Energy terminal will do just that. Vancouver Energy will be a state-of-the-art facility designed with best-in-class technology. This will attract the jobs and talent we are looking for. And, I can assure you, blue-collar jobs are world-class jobs filled by many of our talented building trades.
Adjudicative hearing concludes
By Vancouver Energy On August 2, 2016
The conclusion of a five-week adjudicative hearing on July 29 marks a major milestone in the ongoing review of the Vancouver Energy terminal by Washington state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). During the hearings in Vancouver and Olympia, the Council was presented with evidence from both supporters and intervenors of the proposed terminal, and is now tasked with making a recommendation to Governor Jay Inslee after deliberations. Governor Inslee will decide whether to approve the project, which would support thousands of family-wage jobs and $2 billion in economic value to the region while reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil.
“EFSEC’s statutory language acknowledges the policy of the state of Washington to recognize the pressing need for increased energy facilities,” said Jared Larrabee, Vancouver Energy general manager.
Supporters make the case for terminal
By Vancouver Energy On July 29, 2016
The 5-week adjudication proceedings concluded today, with closing arguments from attorneys in the morning and comment from members of the public in the afternoon.
In his closing argument, Vancouver Energy attorney Jay Derr said EFSEC must "separate the fact from the hysteria" as it considers the evidence and rely on proof presented by witnesses, not just assertions. Vancouver Energy "provides a reliable path" to bring mid-continent North American crude oil to refineries in Washington and the West Coast as the oil supply from Alaska is in decline, Derr said.
"We believe the evidence has demonstrated that this project is necessary to secure a strong, stable, reliable supply of energy for the citizens of Washington," Derr said. "We believe the evidence has demonstrated that this project can be designed, constructed and operated safely and can protect the quality of our environment."
Terminal commits to more safety measures
By Vancouver Energy On July 28, 2016
Safety commitments, rail safety and economic need were among the topics discussed during the last two days of testimony at the adjudication proceedings.
Jared Larrabee, General Manager of Vancouver Energy, announced that Vancouver has committed to several new safety measures for the proposed terminal.
Vancouver Energy is good for the region
July 26, 2016
By Mike Bridges, President of the Longview/Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council
As the state continues its approval process for an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver, I wanted to share why I am certain that the Vancouver Energy project is good for the region and deserving of our support.
The Vancouver Energy project is expected to deliver $2 billion in economic value to our state and the Southwest Washington region in the form of labor income, tax revenue and infrastructure investments. A project of this scale would mean more family-wage jobs and underscore the important role the Port of Vancouver plays in generating family-wage and building and trades jobs.
BNSF invests in safety
By Vancouver Energy On July 21, 2016
The trains transporting oil to the proposed Vancouver Energy terminal will travel on tracks owned, maintained and operated by BNSF Railway. The rail company has a commitment to safety that goes above and beyond federal standards, as described in a recent op-ed in the Olympian.
John Lovenburg, vice president - environmental for BNSF Railway, writes that the company has made major investments in Washington State, including in its rail lines that run through the Columbia River Gorge.
Business, labor leaders pen op-ed
By Vancouver Energy On July 18, 2016
Business and labor leaders in favor of Vancouver Energy have formed a new coalition to support the proposed oil-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The Washington Coalition for Energy Independence told the Portland Business Journal in a recent story that the group is designed to show there is “a level of support in the broader community for a project that holds the potential to create jobs while enhancing our energy independence.”
Fire officials describe preparation
By Vancouver Energy On July 14, 2016
Fire officials took the stand during today’s adjudication proceedings.
Chief testifies on Mosier incident
By Vancouver Energy On July 12, 2016
Jim Appleton, Fire Chief in Mosier, Ore, testified at today's adjudication proceedings about the response to the June 3 derailment of a crude oil train near the city. Appleton said the fire from the derailment, with the help of nearby fire crews, was contained to a small area and did not spread to the surrounding community or structures.
Experts tout benefits of terminal
By Vancouver Energy On July 12, 2016
Through nearly two weeks of testimony, the state panel reviewing the proposed Vancouver Energy crude oil distribution terminal at the Port of Vancouver USA heard from numerous experts in support of permitting the project.
Terminal adds to U.S. energy future
By Vancouver Energy On July 11, 2016
Witnesses at today’s adjudication proceedings covered rail safety and safety procedures at the terminal. Today was the last day of testimony on behalf of Vancouver Energy and project supporters.
Oil safety is strong at terminal
By Vancouver Energy On July 7, 2016
Witnesses at today’s adjudication proceedings, both marine scientists at Polaris Applied Sciences, covered oil spill safety.
BNSF, terminal focus on rail safety
By Vancouver Energy On July 6, 2016
Both BNSF Railway and Vancouver Energy make rail safety a priority, said experts at today’s adjudication proceedings.
Robust planning will help ensure terminal safety
By Vancouver Energy On July 5, 2016
Experts at today's adjudication proceedings described the very low risk of incident at the proposed Vancouver Energy terminal, as well as the safety measures and emergency response plans in place to ensure the project's safety.
Terminal provides jobs, seismic improvements
By Vancouver Energy On June 30, 2016
Today’s testimony covered the positive economic impact and seismic improvements of the Vancouver Energy terminal.
Terminal meets air quality standards
By Vancouver Energy On June 29, 2016
Vessel loading and air quality were among the topics covered on Day Three of the adjudicative proceedings.
Safety a priority in terminal design, operations
By Vancouver Energy On June 28, 2016
Vancouver Energy’s witnesses on Day Two of the adjudicative proceedings described the proposed crude-oil-by-rail terminal’s operations and design, as well as its land use applications.
Terminal will meet growing demand
By Vancouver Energy On June 27, 2016
Today was the kickoff of the adjudicative proceedings for the Vancouver Energy project in front of the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). (Scroll down to see our post last week for more details about how the hearings work.)
Welcome to Our Adjudication Blog
By Vancouver Energy On June 24, 2016
Over the next five weeks, this blog will provide regular updates on a critical portion of the review process for the Vancouver Energy oil-by-rail terminal. Beginning on Monday, the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) will start its adjudicative proceedings for the project.
For questions or comments please Contact Us.