The militant takeover at Iraq’s largest refinery and ongoing instability in other oil-producing areas in Russia and Venezuela illustrate the importance of developing domestic sources of crude oil to move the U.S. toward energy independence.
A proposed energy distribution terminal for Vancouver, Wash., would provide essential infrastructure to make this happen. North American crude would come by rail to the terminal to be stored and then loaded onto ships for transport.
Crude oil has been shipped by rail from oil fields to refineries in relative safety for many years. But a dramatic increase in volume being sent by rail and high-profile accidents in other parts of the country have prompted some to call for a moratorium on rail transport of crude. That is impractical and would hurt our economy. The more responsible approach is to focus on how to increase safety on our rail network and support projects that have a commitment to safety and offer a net benefit to this state.
The Vancouver project would create hundreds of family-wage jobs, boost the economy and maritime industry, and provide stable energy supplies for businesses and employees in all sectors of the economy.
As chairman of one of the largest maritime petroleum-transportation companies in the U.S., I support the Vancouver project. In my view, the increased focus on the need for safe rail transportation of petroleum and Washington’s rigorous environmental and regulatory processes can help ensure this project is done right.
Alternative energy sources are important, but it’s clear the region will need petroleum products to drive the Northwest economy for decades.
Too often people come up with 50 reasons why something can’t be done. Washington state needs the jobs and other benefits of this project.