A slight majority of voters in the Port of Vancouver district oppose plans to build a large oil terminal at the port, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
The survey, commissioned by Seattle-based Washington Conservation Voters — which opposes the terminal — found that 51 percent of respondents in the port district are against the proposal, compared with 42 percent in favor of it. The survey’s margin of error is 4.9 percentage points.
The numbers come on the heels of a separate survey recently released by the companies hoping to build the terminal. That poll sampled voters throughout Clark County and found more than two-thirds of respondents favored the proposal. This week’s poll, which targeted only the 111-square-mile Port of Vancouver taxing district, appears to show stronger opposition closer to the project.
“I think the public is weighing their options and seeing that this terminal is not good for the quality of life in Clark County, and that we can do better,” said Shannon Murphy, president of Washington Conservation Voters, a political advocacy group.
Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies want to build an oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver capable of handling an average of 360,000 barrels of crude per day. Oil would arrive by trains primarily from North Dakota, then be loaded onto marine vessels bound for other West Coast facilities. If built, the terminal would be the largest oil-by-rail facility in the United States.