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.
The project will:
- Support an average of more than 1,000 jobs a year over a likely 16-year construction and operations period. This includes hundreds of jobs for vendors and spinoff activities.
- Contribute more than $1 billion in labor income and $2 billion in economic value to Clark County and surrounding communities.
- Contribute direct grants to Clark County nonprofits under the Vancouver Energy Community Fund. The fund has already contributed more than $100,000 to groups like YWCA, Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools, the Clark County Skills Center and others.
No industrial development is without risk. But the Vancouver Energy terminal applies the same proven state-of-the-art technology that is applied safely around our nation and the world. The project sponsors, Tesoro and Savage, are qualified and have demonstrated that the project will meet or exceed federal and state safety standards for rail safety, vessel safety, spill response and seismic preparedness. The project’s investment in these areas will make our current pre-existing rail operations safer, as crude oil is already being transported over the rails. Let’s say yes to the terminal, yes to economic development and yes to safety.