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Vancouver City Council Passes Resolution Opposing Oil Terminal

Port of Vancouver USA
The proposed Tesoro/Savage crude oil terminal would be built on this rail loop at the Port of Vancouver, Washington on the Columbia River.

The Vancouver City Council voted early Tuesday to oppose what would be the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the Northwest.

The council took six hours of public testimony that started Monday and continued past midnight. Finally, after 1 a.m., the council voted, 5 to 2, on a non-binding resolution opposing the proposed Tesoro Savage oil terminal. Mayor Tim Leavitt and council member Bill Turlay cast the dissenting votes.

The resolution raises concerns about oil train safety, derailments and explosions, and urges Gov. Jay Inslee not to approve the project.

Turlay and Leavitt said they want to wait for more facts from a state environmental review before taking a position.

Council member Bart Hansen drew applause from the crowd when he argued that oil train derailments over the past year provided him with enough facts to oppose the project.

"People have died. That is a fact. There have been derailments. That is a fact. There have been gallons spilled into the environment, and that's why I'm at where I'm at tonight," Hansen said.

Several hundred people turned out for the city council hearing. The council took testimony from a hundred and one people before voting.