The following is from the Washington Building and Construction Trades Council:
OLYMPIA (July 29, 2015) — The Washington Building and Construction Trades Council (WBCTC) has officially endorsed the proposed Vancouver Energy terminal at the Port of Vancouver USA and is supporting efforts to seek timely regulatory approval so construction can begin. The WBCTC has nine affiliated local Building and Trades Councils representing more than 70,000 members in communities all across the state.
At its annual convention in Marysville, the WBCTC adopted a resolution outlining reasons for its support of the $210 million energy infrastructure project. Vancouver Energy is “an opportunity for the creation of good, family-wage jobs during both the initial construction and longer term maintenance and operations of the facility and structures.”
The resolution noted that the current unemployment rate for Vancouver remains above 8 percent, while the project would generate more than 320 full-time jobs during construction and an estimated 176 on-site operations jobs. It will also generate $22 million in local tax revenues during construction and $7.6 million in annual tax revenues once the terminal is fully operational.
Vancouver Energy, the Columbia Pacific Building and Trades Council, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters have all entered into a Letter of Understanding for a Project Labor Agreement for the construction of the facility.
“Our members work throughout the Northwest on the infrastructure projects that are the foundational bedrock of much of Washington’s economic success,” said Lee Newgent, executive secretary of the WBCTC. “The Northwest needs the new investments and infrastructure that will come with projects like Vancouver Energy. No other projects on the horizon hold the promise of such a scale and provide benefits over such a long lasting time frame.”
Newgent noted that Vancouver Energy would also support U.S. energy independence by decreasing reliance on foreign oil imports, and would be good for the environment. The midcontinent crude oil coming to the facility by rail has 30 percent lower carbon intensity than the average crude processed in Washington state today, meaning lower carbon emissions from fuels produced at refineries in Washington and down the West Coast.
The WBCTC resolution also cited “Vancouver Energy’s commitment to the safe operation and transportation by hiring the most skilled workforce for construction, the safety trained and skilled operations team, and by allowing only the newer safer model of rail cars for bringing in crude oil.”
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. Learn more about the project here.
The project is currently being evaluated by the state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), which will produce a draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review. EFSEC required Vancouver Energy to prepare preliminary analyses, reports and documents to address the range of potential impacts, which Vancouver Energy submitted to EFSEC in August and September of 2014.
Ultimately EFSEC will submit a recommendation on the project to Governor Inslee, who decides whether Vancouver Energy should be approved.
The Washington Building and Construction Trades Council has more than 80 affiliated organizations through its local councils in Washington and Oregon representing more than 70,000 members in dozens of crafts. The organization is headquartered in Olympia.