northwest oil refineries

Vancouver Council Approves Refinery Ban

Jul 19, 2016
Flickr user Loco Steve / Flickr

The Vancouver City Council voted unanimously Monday night to ban future crude oil facilities and refineries.

Mayor Tim Leavitt says the new law shows the city council is committed to attracting industries that don’t pose a significant environmental threat.

“This ordinance tonight, I think is an important message coming from your city council, a value proposition that we are standing on and that is our community can be vibrant, it can be prosperous, it can be enjoyable without the sorts of industries could create circumstances otherwise,” said Leavitt.

Matt Brown

Washington state officials are holding a public hearing Friday in Vancouver on new rules targeting oil train safety.

One proposed rule would require trains carrying refined or crude oil to submit spill response plans that the state would approve.

Another proposed rule would make oil terminals and refineries alert the state that they plan to receive crude oil. Right now, companies that move oil by rail aren’t required to share that information with state officials.

Tony Webster / Flickr

The state Department of Ecology has released an updated rule to cap carbon pollution in Washington. In an effort to tackle climate change, it requires the state’s largest industrial polluters to reduce their emissions gradually.

Port Of Longview Rejects Oil Refinery

Feb 23, 2016
Allison Frost/OPB

Port of Longview commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to end talks with an energy company that wants to build the first oil refinery on the west coast in more than 25 years.

Conrad Wilson / OPB

A new oil refinery is the last thing you might expect Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration to be courting. After all, Inslee has developed a national reputation as a champion of curbing the use of fossil fuels.

And yet, Inslee’s administration has worked for months to facilitate such a project along the Columbia River.

Walter Siegmund / Wikimedia Commons

The agency that investigates chemical accidents, the Chemical Safety Board, spent almost four years examining the causes of the deadly explosion. In their new report, they say Tesoro became complacent about cracks in equipment that caused flammable leaks. Don Holmstrom with the Chemical Safety Board says there also needs to be more regulatory scrutiny.

There are now 15 confirmed deaths in the oil train explosion that rocked a small town in Quebec Province over the weekend.

The tragedy has given the commissioners of the Port of Vancouver in Washington pause as they consider a proposal for a terminal to move oil from trains onto ships. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Oil Trains On The Rise In The Northwest

Dec 5, 2012
Photo Credit: Carl Chapman/Wikimedia Commons

Regulators in the region are weighing the potential impacts of trains full of coal moving along the Columbia River and the shores of Puget Sound. Meanwhile, trains full of Oil are quietly on the rise.