Yakama Nation encourages Governor Inslee to deny Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project

Yakama Chairman JoDee Goudy, taken at Mosier June 2016 during protest of oil train spill and fire at Mosier

Toppenish, Wash.Tuesday, the State of Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) issued its recommendation to Governor Inslee to deny the Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project.

An Associated Press report of that meeting noted EFSEC had been evaluating the project since 2013.  In a meeting in Olympia that lasted about 10 minutes, the council’s interim chair, Roselyn Marcus, says they weighed more than 250,000 public comments in a process that was the longest in the panel’s history.

The Vancouver Energy terminal, a joint venture of Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos., would receive about 360,000 barrels of crude oil by trains a day at the port of Vancouver. Oil would temporarily be stored at the port of Vancouver site, and then loaded onto tankers and ships bound for West Coast refineries.

Inslee will have 60 days to make a final decision after receiving the council’s written report.

JoDe Goudy, Chairman of the Yakama Nation, issued the following statement Tuesday:

“The Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project is a direct threat to our treaty-reserved rights, which is why the Yakama Nation has always opposed the project. Now we strongly encourage Governor Inslee to deny the terminal.

The people of the Yakama Nation have lived, fished, and practiced their cultural and religious traditions since time immemorial along the Columbia River, including the area threatened by the proposed Tesoro-Savage project site. The Treaty of 1855 between the Yakama Nation and the United States allows the us to practice and preserve these traditions.

Between the recent sewage spills in Vancouver last month and the oil train derailment in Mosier, Ore. last year, we cannot allow any further pollution to our river. These types of incidents not only threaten the lives and treaty rights of the Yakama people, but it threatens the health of all people who use or depend on the Columbia.

Governor Inslee has been a friend to the Yakama Nation by standing up for the protection of the Columbia River against crude oil, coal, and rail traffic, and we hope his leadership to protect Washington’s natural resources continues by denying the Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project.”