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Unions endorse oil distribution center proposal in Vancouver

The following is from the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, AFL-CIO:

Columbia-Pacific-BCTCVANCOUVER, Wash. (Oct. 17, 2014) – Major construction trade unions in Southwest Washington and Oregon have endorsed the proposed crude oil distribution terminal at the Port of Vancouver and reached an agreement with Vancouver Energy to ensure the project is built with union labor.

The Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, and International Union of Operating Engineers are partnering with Vancouver Energy on the project that will create 1,000s of jobs through the construction and operation of a $210 million crude oil loading and unloading facility.

“This project creates great family-wage jobs, fuels our economy and promotes energy independence,” said Willy Myers, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council.  “We agree that transportation of crude oil by rail and marine vessel to and from the terminal can be accomplished in a safe, environmentally responsible manner, and Vancouver Energy is committed to doing that.  We’re anxious to help them build it.”

The labor organizations and Vancouver Energy agreed that Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) will be in place for construction of the facility by union labor.

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring these new family-wage jobs to Vancouver,” said Ron Robbins, Contract Administrator for the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters.  “Not only will this project have a direct benefit to our area through job creation and increased tax revenue, but it will help the United States decrease its dependency on foreign oil.  Crude oil from the United States should be shipped to refineries in the United States to help keep our economy going and Americans working.”

“We’re impressed with Vancouver Energy’s commitment to safety and the specific safety elements to be built and designed into the facility and its operation,” said Nelda Wilson, Business Manager & Financial Secretary of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 701.  “Employing a safety-trained, skilled workforce and utilizing a full array of safeguards, including only newer and safer model rail cars, will help make this a great project for working men and women, their families, and local communities.”

Lee Newgent, Executive Secretary of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council, praised the work of the participants in reaching an agreement on building the project with organized, skilled and efficient crafts people dedicated to working safely.

“This is great – Southwest Washington needs these jobs and the economic benefits will flow to the entire region,” Newgent said.  “With all the uncertainty in the world, especially in countries that have been major sources of oil, this is also an essential infrastructure project to increase our country’s economic security and energy independence.”

Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC and Savage Companies formed a joint venture – Vancouver Energy – to develop, own and operate the terminal at the Port of Vancouver USA that will safely transfer North American crude oil from rail to ship, subject to regulatory approval.

At full operation the Vancouver Energy terminal would receive up to 360,000 barrels of North American crude oil a day, which would be transferred to West Coast refineries and would reduce foreign crude imports by up to 30 percent.

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