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.
The Vancouver Energy terminal is expected to provide:
- 320 full-time jobs during construction of the facility.
- More than 600 direct on and off-site jobs.
- Hundreds more jobs supporting vendors and spinoff activities
Vancouver Energy has demonstrated its commitment to safety, ensuring that terminal construction and operations will meet – and when possible exceed – Washington state’s strict environmental laws. Throughout the adjudication hearings, Vancouver Energy has laid out its plans to lower train speeds at the terminal, use reinforced rail cars that go beyond federal standards, incorporate a vigorous mitigation plan and use state-of-the-art innovations that would allow the terminal to withstand major earthquakes.
Also, through the Vancouver Energy Community Fund, Vancouver Energy has supported several worthy organizations throughout region. Last year, the Fund awarded more than $100,000 in grants to six outstanding nonprofits, including the YWCA, Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools, Evergreen Habitat for Humanity and the Clark County Skills Center.
Vancouver Energy is a special project that will generate family-wage jobs and likely lead to other business opportunities in the region that would benefit the trades, service and technical industries. I support Vancouver Energy and, when the time comes, I hope that Gov. Jay Inslee will do so as well.