Friends is the only nonprofit organization working every day to protect the resources of the Gorge for future generations—and we can't do it without you.
Tesoro-Savage wants to build the region's largest pipeline-on-wheels project based out of Vancouver, WA and transport 360,000 barrel a day of oil by rail through the Columbia River Gorge. The Port of Vancouver approved the lease to build a massive oil terminal on the banks of the Columbia River despite many unanswered questions and much public outcry. Now the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) is conducting scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement and will make a recommendation to Governor Inslee. Then, the Governor will make the final decision to deny or approve the oil terminal.
This project poses many threats to the Columbia River Gorge, and the communities in it. Increased train traffic (and associated diesel emissions) along with the potential for a derailment disaster make this proposal a risk we cannot afford to take. Fossil fuel infrastructure developments threaten the world's climate and will prevent alternative energy technologies from progressing. This project would put the burden of environmental and health impacts on us, while giving us none of the benefit.
UPDATE: The hearing in Vancouver on October 29 was a resounding success. Hundreds of volunteers turned out to speak against the project, and not a single comment was submitted in favor of the oil terminal. Four of seven Vancouver city council members already oppose this project. Hopefully, with enough public support, they will pass a resolution against the project soon.
Help stop this oil terminal proposal. Sign the petition to your governor today, tell them to pass a moratorium on new oil terminal permits. The safety issues alone are enough to warrant action.
Coal companies are proposing to greatly expand coal train exports through the Gorge. Under proposals currently being floated, 20 to 30 new coal trains per day would pass through the Gorge. These trains would carry coal in uncovered cars, dispersing tens of thousands of tons of coal dust along their routes each year. The coal dust, as well as diesel emissions, would create significant amounts of air pollution.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides funds to the U.S. Forest Service to buy and protect land in the Gorge. Many of the popular recereation areas in the Gorge have been made possible with LWCF funding, including:
- Catherine Creek (pictured)
- Cape Horn
- Mosier Twin Tunnels
- Viento State Park
- Beacon Rock State Park
- Lower Deschutes River
Last year Congress zeroed out funding for LWCF, and with this year's budget negotiations so contentious, it's unclear what will be budgeted for LWCF.
- Contact your Senator and U.S. Representative and tell them to support LWCF funding and Gorge protection!
(The LWCF is funded by a portion of profits from offshore drilling, not by income taxes.)
(Photo: Angie Moore.)