Tesoro, Savage officials address concernsAs state regulators prepare to vet a controversial plan to build the region’s largest oil-handling terminal in Vancouver, hundreds of opponents on Tuesday delivered an overwhelming message:The damage and risk from such an operation would reach well beyond Vancouver and Clark County, opponents said.More than 300 people filed into Clark College’s Gaiser Hall. The vast majority of them — many clad in red shirts — oppose the project for a variety of reasons. An hour and a half into the hearing, not a single person had spoken in favor of the proposal.But Tuesday’s hearing wasn’t a popularity contest. The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council held the hearing as part of its “scoping” process, during which the group will decide what should and should not be included in the environmental review of the project.Attendees urged council members to make that review as broad as possible, considering everything from local air quality affected by emissions from the facility itself, to compounding the implications of global climate change by eventually burning oil that’s extracted from North Dakota. Opponents also highlighted environmental risks to the Columbia River ecosystem, and to the communities along the railroads that would bring oil through the region.Among those against the plan are members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4, who have voted to oppose the terminal, said President Cager Clabaugh. That’s despite the fact that the union would benefit from some of the jobs the facility promises.
September 16, 2019