Hearings begin on oil terminal in Vancouver; Business leader points out safety record for rail

The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) began hearings today on a proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The Columbian reports

The day started with a protest involving about 100 red-clad opponents of Vancouver Energy’s plans to build the nation’s largest oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver.
The actual hearing was to start at 9 a.m. Held at the Clark College Conference Center in east Vancouver, lawyers for Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. and the Port of Vancouver are presenting overviews of their case for the terminal. The opponents and the counsel for the environment are arguing why the terminal, which could handle up to 360,000 barrels of oil per day, shouldn’t be approved.
The hearing will last five weeks, Mondays through Thursdays.
According to the Seattle Times,
Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. are proposing a $210 million terminal that would receive an average of four 1½-mile-long crude oil trains a day, likely traveling on tracks between Spokane and Vancouver. Oil would temporarily be stored on site and then loaded onto tankers and ships bound for West Coast refineries.
In a commentary in the Spokesman-Review, Association of Washington Business president Kris Johnson points out the safety record of rail. His commentary draws on the recent derailment at Mosier, Oregon
Rail transportation is recognized as the safest method of moving large quantities of hazardous materials over long distances. Of all deliveries of hazardous materials by rail, 99.99 percent are completed without incident.
Johnson adds,
Let’s learn from the accident at Mosier and continue to make investments and enhancements to improve transportation safety. But, at the same time, avoid arbitrary actions or policies that could have unintended consequences.
 Good counsel.