B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee meet in Vancouver, March 16, 2018. (B.C. government)

Green Gov. Jay Inslee opposes Trans Mountain, quietly

Washington uses same pipeline, Alaska tankers for petroleum industry

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s visit to Vancouver raised a few eyebrows when he appeared to support to B.C. Premier John Horgan’s effort to stop the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline system.

Inslee sidestepped a question from a Vancouver reporter about his own state’s use of the pipeline to supply crude to its refineries at Anacortes, Cherry Point and Ferndale, some of which is sold back to B.C. as refined fuels.

Kinder Morgan, current operator of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to its terminal in Burnaby, also operates a branch line running from Abbotsford to Washington that supplies the Shell and Tesoro refinery complex at Anacortes, the Phillips 66 refinery at Ferndale and BP’s Cherry Point facility, the largest in Washington located just 11 km south of Blaine.

Inslee spoke of shipping noise affecting orcas and a growing demand for electric cars in his state, and avoided discussing Washington’s own busy oil industry. He noted his state’s rejection of an oil port at Vancouver, Washington, to transport shale oil produced from North Dakota, and thermal coal export facilities proposed to deliver from Wyoming to Asia. 

“We share the most beautiful part of at least North America,” Inslee said at a joint news conference with Horgan Friday announcing a high-speed rail study. “And that vision that we have of perpetuating that beauty for our grandchildren is at risk by increasing the tanker traffic through the Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca by going up about five to seven times.”

But most of the existing tanker traffic around the south end of Vancouver Island is coming from Alaska, and heading for those Washington refineries and others in California. The Seattle-based Sightline Institute estimates that while 10 per cent of Washington’s crude oil comes from the Alberta oil sands via Trans Mountain, more than half comes from Alaska’s Valdez tanker terminal. Washington refineries also receive crude oil tankers from the Middle East and Africa, and oil by rail from growing U.S. shale production is also increasing.

RELATED: Tugboat crewman ‘fell asleep’ near Bella Bella

Inslee warned of a “dramatic” increase in tanker traffic from the Trans Mountain expansion. In fact it would represent a six per cent increase in total shipping traffic for the region, including freighters loaded with barely refined bunker fuel and U.S. fuel barges like the one that ran aground at Bella Bella in 2016.

#TransMtnBC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

The International Snow Science Workshop goes virtual

The livestreamed event will include speaker sessions, poster presentations, and panel discussions

Twlefth annual Columbia Basin Culture Tour showcases local artists

Artists from throughout the Elk Valley will be participating in the event August 8 and 9

Elk River Alliance encourages volunteers to ‘bring their own bubble’ and help clear invasive species from Elk Valley

Invasive species haven’t taken a break due to the pandemic, and the Elk River Alliance hasn’t either.

ICBC stats show Fernie, Crowsnest Highway the most likely locations for collisions in Elk Valley

Drivers most often have collisions in Fernie and along the Crowsnest Hwy. according to ICBC stats

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. group renews call for protection of newly discovered glass sponge reefs

DFO says public consultation will play heavy role in future protection measures

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Most Read