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

ChargerQuest expands its EV charging network into Kelowna

The new stations can be found at Manteo Beach Resort and the Eldorado Hotel

Kelowna resident warns North Glenmore community of active thieves in the area

Two thieves stole a pontoon boat from a residence on May 23

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Penticton Search and Rescue airlifts injured mountain biker near Naramata

The Penticton Fire Department initially took the call and attended to the injured biker.

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

Most Read