Greene campaign for port gets another $140K from oil interests

Campaign has received $370,000 from companies with an interest in the oil terminal project at the Port of Vancouver

By Jake Thomas, Columbian staff writer

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Port commissioner candidate Kris Greene has accepted another six-figure donation from the company seeking to a build a crude-by-rail oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver.

According to the most recent filings with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Greene accepted a $140,000 donation from Tesoro Savage Petroleum Terminal LLC on Oct. 13. The Midvale, Utah-based company is a joint venture of Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC and Savage Cos., who are proposing to develop and operate a 360,000-barrel-per-day uploading and marine facility at the port.

Although the filing states that Tesoro Savage Petroleum Terminal LLC is based in Midvale, Utah, company spokesman Jeff Hymas wrote in an email that it’s the same entity as Vancouver Energy, which was formed by Tesoro and Savage to operate the proposed terminal at the Port of Vancouver.

A total of $225,000 has been donated to Greene’s campaign under the name Vancouver Energy. Tesoro donated another $5,000 in July.

Donations from companies with an interest in the project now total $370,000 and account for 87 percent of Greene’s campaign funds. Campaign filings show he’s spent just $31,708.

Greene has expressed varying degrees of support for the terminal project. Documents leaked by Robert Sabo, his former campaign strategist, show that those donations have come with industry and political insiders who have exerted control over his campaign.

Greene has expressed varying degrees of support for the terminal project. Documents leaked by Robert Sabo, his former campaign strategist, show that those donations have come with industry and political insiders who’ve exerted control over his campaign.

“We’ve been clear from the beginning that we support Kris Greene’s campaign and agree with many others that he is the best candidate with the right experience to help lead the Port of Vancouver USA,” reads a statement issued by Vancouver Energy. “Kris has lived in the Port District for many years, is more than a single-issue candidate, and understands the importance of creating opportunities for family-wage jobs and economic growth in Vancouver and Southwest Washington. We also appreciate that Kris supports the established review process to ensure that our facility can, and will, be built and operated in a safe and environmentally responsible way.”

Don Orange, an opponent of the terminal who is the only other candidate in the race, has raised $100,112.

Greene didn’t respond to a request for comment. But Orange said he’s confident he can win with a grassroots campaign.

“My opponent is bought and paid for by the oil company,” said Orange. “And I think the future of Vancouver deserves something different. We’re going to fight like heck to get our message out. We have incredible community support and we expect to win. I’ve been knocking on doors every day.”

According to PDC filings, Greene’s campaign has raised a total of $423,171. The amount is larger than the campaign war chests for some candidates running for office in King County and is the third-largest amount of money any local candidate in Washington has raised in 2017. Seattle mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan raised the second-largest amount at $822,121. King County Executive Dow Constantine, who is running for reelection, has raised the most at $1.58 million.