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PNS Daily Newscast - September 19, 2018 


Updates on Trump tariffs and his Supreme Court nominee. Also on the Wednesday rundown: New Hampshire in the news in a clean energy report; and doctors address the rise of AFib – a serious and sometimes invisible cardiac issue.

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Inslee Rejects Largest Oil Terminal Proposal in North America

Gov. Jay Inslee has rejected an oil terminal that would have sent 360,000 barrels of oil a day through the Columbia River Gorge. (Kat Holmes/Washington Environmental Council)
Gov. Jay Inslee has rejected an oil terminal that would have sent 360,000 barrels of oil a day through the Columbia River Gorge. (Kat Holmes/Washington Environmental Council)
January 30, 2018

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee has delivered the final blow in the long battle over a proposed oil terminal in Vancouver.

On Monday, Inslee agreed with the recommendation of the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), which voted unanimously at the end of last year to reject the project. If built, it would have been the largest oil-by-rail terminal on the continent.

In his rejection letter, the governor said there were "potentially catastrophic risks to the public" in the event of an earthquake, and concerns about possible oil spills in the Columbia River. He also noted the risk of a potential fire or explosion at the facility.

"I am so pleased that Gov. Inslee rejected this," said Rebecca Ponzio, campaign director for the Stand Up to Oil Coalition, "and that we do not have to unnecessarily put our emergency responders, our community members and so many other people at risk."

Northwest groups party to the decision – including Columbia Riverkeeper, Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Fruit Valley Neighborhood Association – cheered Inslee's announcement.

The Spokane City Council is also praising the decision, because the project would have resulted in as many as five more oil trains a day passing through that city.

Vancouver Energy has 30 days to appeal the decision to Thurston County Superior Court.

Ponzio notes this is just the latest oil terminal project to be rejected, and that the long battle against the Vancouver Energy project is evidence that people in the Northwest don't have an appetite for more oil.

"We have now stopped eight out of the eight terminals that have been proposed in the Pacific Northwest," she added. "So, in that sense, there's no need for new oil infrastructure in our regions. People want to move off of oil and toward clean energy."

The proposal would have sent 360,000 barrels of oil by rail a day through the Columbia River Gorge. Earlier this month, the Port of Vancouver's Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to end Vancouver Energy's lease for the project if it didn't have the necessary permits and licenses by March 31.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - WA