Panel: Washington governor should not approve oil terminal

Gov. Jay Inslee will have 60 days to make a final decision after receiving the council's written report

Rail-to-marine oil transfer along the Columbia River can handle an average 360,000 barrels of crude per day. (Vancouver Energy)
Rail-to-marine oil transfer along the Columbia River can handle an average 360,000 barrels of crude per day. (Vancouver Energy)

SEATTLE (AP) — A state energy panel has unanimously voted to recommend disapproving a massive oil-by-rail terminal proposed along the Columbia River in Washington.

The state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, which has been evaluating the project since 2013, decided Tuesday to tell Gov. Jay Inslee to reject the project. Inslee will have 60 days to make a final decision after receiving the council’s written report.

In a meeting in Olympia that lasted about 10 minutes, the council’s interim chair, Roselyn Marcus, says they weighed more than 250,000 public comments in a process that was the longest in the panel’s history.

The Vancouver Energy terminal, a joint venture of Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos., would receive about 360,000 barrels of crude oil by trains a day at the port of Vancouver. Oil would temporarily be stored at the port of Vancouver site, and then loaded onto tankers and ships bound for West Coast refineries.