Blog

Terminal meets Tri-Cities community

 

By Vancouver Energy On February 17, 2016

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.”

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BNSF makes commitments to EFSEC

 

By Vancouver Energy On February 15, 2016

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.

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Terminal commits to the community

 

By Vancouver Energy On January 12, 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

From the op-ed:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Fire officials describe preparation

 

By Vancouver Energy On July 14, 2016

Fire officials took the stand during today’s adjudication proceedings.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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ŸTerminal 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.)

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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.

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