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Thursday, September 28, 2023
Sept. 28, 2023

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Survey finds support for Vancouver oil terminal

68 percent of Clark County respondents favor Tesoro-Savage proposal

By , Columbian Transportation & Environment Reporter

More than two-thirds of Clark County voters say they support a plan to build an oil-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver, according to a poll released by the companies proposing it.

In a survey of 400 registered voters in Clark County, Portland-based firm DHM Research found that 68 percent of respondents favor the proposal, compared to 31 percent opposed — a difference far beyond the poll’s 4.9 percent margin of error.

Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies want to build an oil transfer terminal at the port capable of handling an average of 360,000 barrels of crude per day. If built, facility would be the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the United States.

Tesoro and Savage, doing business together as Vancouver Energy, released the poll results Thursday during an invitation-only event at the port showcasing a tanker car design that would be used as part of the operation.

“The results confirm Clark County residents continue to support Vancouver Energy for the great jobs and economic value it will create,” C.J. Warner, Tesoro’s executive vice president of strategy and business development, said in a released statement.

The numbers are similar to another poll released by the companies last year, which found 69 percent of Clark County respondents favored the terminal. In that poll, 26 percent said they opposed the project.

In this year’s survey, pollsters generally described the Vancouver Energy project, which would accept crude oil by rail primarily from North Dakota and then transfer it to marine vessels bound for other West Coast facilities. The question released with the results Thursday did not describe the size of the proposed terminal.

The poll also asked participants if they favor or oppose “developing energy reserves, with the goal of making the United States more energy independent than it is now.” To that question, 70 percent of respondents said the favored the notion, compared to 24 percent opposed.

The telephone survey was conducted between June 18 and 25.

Thursday’s event included port officials, company leaders, business groups and others. A group of protesters outside also voiced its opposition to the Tesoro-Savage terminal.

Columbian Transportation & Environment Reporter