The yearlong regulatory journey to decide the fate of what would become in Vancouver the largest oil-handling operation in the Pacific Northwest officially launched Tuesday evening. Ahead of Tuesday’s environmental scoping hearing, convened by the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, the companies proposing the controversial project — Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies — offered to field questions from The Columbian and to explain their joint venture.
On Tuesday morning, inside Gray’s at the Park at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, Columbian reporters Aaron Corvin and Eric Florip met for more than an hour with Kelly Flint, senior vice president and general counsel for Savage Companies, Mark Smith, vice president of development-supply and logistics for Tesoro and Jennifer Minx, senior manager of corporate communications for Tesoro.
In a wide-ranging interview, those officials responded to numerous questions, including about their respective companies’ responsibilities in running the planned oil terminal, Gov. Jay Inslee’s role in the EFSEC process, and oil train, spill and global warming concerns.
Under the Tesoro-Savage plan, oil would be hauled to the Port of Vancouver by train from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota, where crude is extracted by hydraulic fracturing. The oil would be stored at the port and transferred to ships headed to U.S. refineries, which would convert the crude into transportation fuels.