When plans for the nation's largest oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver surfaced in 2013, project backers likely expected opposition from environmentalists. But what they surely didn't anticipate was that a broad swath of the region, from city councils to local businesses to Indian tribes, would so forcefully turn against a project promising tax dollars and jobs to a cash- and job-hungry community.
Stripped bare, the effort to build the nation’s largest rail-to-marine oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver is about money. Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. intend to make plenty of it, and they promise the community will get plenty too.
In the state of Washington, the environment has its own attorney. And that attorney, a member of the state attorney general's staff, occupies a little-known but quite important corner of the state's regulatory labyrinth through which Vancouver Energy's proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver must pass.
It's not supposed to be easy for Vancouver Energy to build the nation's largest oil terminal on the banks of the Columbia River. Washington's environmental regulations guarantee that. But there is a path through the regulatory labyrinth of the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council that the company might be able to follow.