Washington governor backs decision to reject Vancouver oil terminal

Feb. 5, 2018
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) notified the state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council that he agrees with its Dec. 19 recommendation to reject a proposed crude oil rail-to-marine terminal at the Port of Vancouver.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) notified the state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council that he agrees with its Dec. 19 recommendation to reject a proposed crude oil rail-to-marine terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The governor specifically mentioned a possible earthquake, crude oil spill, or fire and explosion as major concerns in his Jan. 29 letter to EFSEC Chair Kathleen Drew.

"When weighing all of the factors considered against the need for and potential benefits of the facility at this location, I believe the record reflects substantial evidence that the project does not meet the broad public interest standard necessary for the council to recommend site certification," Inslee said.

Vancouver Energy LLC, a joint venture of Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. LLC in San Antonio and Savage Cos. in Salt Lake City, applied for EFSEC certification for the project on Aug. 29, 2013. Tesoro R&M parent Tesoro Corp. formally became Andeavor Corp. on Aug. 1, 2017, following its acquisition of Western Refining Co. months earlier (OGJ Online, Aug. 1, 2017).

The facility at the Port of Vancouver, across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore., was to bring up to 360,000 b/d of North American crude by rail to the port, where it would have been loaded onto US-built, US-flagged, and US-staffed marine vessels for shipment to refineries in Alaska, California, and Washington refineries.

Washington's Department of Natural Resources said just before EFSEC began its adjudication hearings on June 27, 2016, that the project posed such serious such serious fire, landslide, and spill risks that it should not be certified (OGJ Online, June 23, 2016).

"Based on EFSEC's recommendation, we aren't surprised by the governor's decision to reject the Vancouver Energy project," Port of Vancouver Chief Executive Julianna Marler said on Jan. 29.