Proposed Vancouver, WA Terminal Biggest Yet In Region

By Tom Banse

Oil refiner Tesoro and a terminal operating company named Savage detailed plans today Thursday for the biggest crude oil shipping terminal to be proposed in the Northwest. It would be located on the Columbia River at the Port of Vancouver, Washington.

The proposed terminal would receive crude by rail from oil fields in North Dakota and the like. The oil would then be transferred onto oceangoing tankers for delivery to West Coast refineries. Tesoro vice president Mark Smith told Port of Vancouver commissioners that this could replace more expensive foreign crude imports with cheaper domestic supply.

Mark Smith: "This revolution in U.S. production is just amazing. It's going to help us push out these foreign sources of oil and replace them."

But after Smith and fellow executives finished their presentation, it became clear they face opposition. A string of environmentalists stepped forward to warn of the risk of oil spills, both from train derailments and possible tanker accidents. This project is one of five rail-to-ship crude oil terminals in various stages of review around the Northwest.

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