Vancouver City Council Bans Crude Oil Terminals!

Sierra Club rally in Vancouver 1Exciting news! On Monday, July 18, the Vancouver City Council unanimously voted to ban crude oil storage, handling and refining. This ordinance will effectively ban any new proposals to export crude oil from Vancouver, Washington. While it does not affect the proposed Tesoro Savage crude oil export terminal, Sierra Club, working in partnership with the Stand Up to Oil Coalition, seized this opportunity to send Gov. Jay Inslee a clear message that he should deny the project.

Before the vote, we organized a rally and march to show just how opposed the public is to crude oil exports. About 150 people came to show their support for the city and their opposition to crude oil exports.

The recent oil train fire in Mosier, Oregon, and the ongoing adjudication process for Tesoro Savage gave rally speakers plenty to talk about. Among the speakers was Maria McCormick, a physician and farmer from Mosier. Her children had to be evacuated from the elementary school the day the oil train derailed. She spoke about how horrible that accident could have been if the famous Columbia Gorge wind had been blowing that day, as it does most days. Maria thanked the City of Vancouver for protecting up-rail communities that have less power to stop fossil fuel companies from increasing the amount of bomb trains on the tracks. 

Jarred Smith, head of the local International Longshore and Warehouse Union mocked Tesoro-Savage’s arguments that oil spills create jobs, are good for fish, and that tribes can simply re-locate. For background, these are real arguments made by pro-terminal witnesses during adjudication.

Sierra Club rally in Vancouver 2With the crowd riled up by these speakers, we marched to the tracks. Along with a drum beat, we chanted “Vancouver oil terminal ban! City council yes we can! Vancouver oil terminal ban! Governor Inslee, take a stand!”

Then we packed the main room and the overflow room at city hall, 150 people in all. The energy was electric. Dozens of volunteers testified, urging the city council to adopt the ordinance.

Alona Stinke, volunteer leader and superstar with the Sierra Club, read a statement by the mayor of Mosier: “They might wish they had killed us off, because we can’t shut up about it.” After the public testimony, the entire city council, one member at a time, voted to adopt the ordinance. They received a standing ovation from our sea of red. 

This vote is incredibly important. Not only will it stop all future crude oil export proposals from fossil fuel companies, it also sends a clear message to Gov. Inslee, who has final say on Tesoro Savage and other crude oil proposals. This vote puts the final nail in the coffin for crude oil exports in Vancouver!

News coverage:

Vancouver City Council votes to ban crude oil storage, handling
KOMO News-July 19, 2016
Vancouver Wash. – The Vancouver City Council unanimously voted 7-0 Monday night to ban crude oil storage and handling in the city's ..

Vancouver City Council votes to block future oil terminals 18, 2016
Vancouver, Wash. — After many meetings, public testimony and protests, the Vancouver City Council voted to ban all future oil ...

Vancouver City Council Bans New Oil Storage
750 KXL-July 19, 2016
Vancouver, Wash. — In a 7-0 Monday night vote, the Vancouver City Council banned crude oil storage and handling in the city's industrial ...

City of Vancouver's crude oil ban may not affect terminal planned for ...
Q13 FOX-21 hours ago

Vancouver Passes Ban On Crude Oil Refineries, Future Storage ...
KUOW News and Information-July 12, 2016
The city's ordinance won't affect a proposal by Tesoro-Savage to build the largest oil-by-rail facility in the nation at the Port of Vancouver. ... The council passed the ordinance unanimously.