101 Small Businesses Call on Governor Inslee to Reject Crude-By-Rail Proposal in Vancouver, WA

101 Small Businesses Call on Governor Inslee to Reject Crude-By-Rail Proposal in Vancouver, WA

For Immediate Release: June, 25, 2015 


Don Orange, Hoesly Eco Auto: 360-281-2480

Boris Popovic, Vancouver 101: 202-294-8951

Vancouver, WA — Today at Hoesly Eco Auto & Tire in Vancouver, WA, representatives of a group of 101 Vancouver small business leaders called on Governor Jay Inslee to reject the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver.  Speaking for a diverse group of small businesses, the group cited multiple recent oil train derailments and explosions in highlighting public safety risks to small businesses and their customers.  The businesses called for Governor Inslee to deny what would be the largest crude-by-rail facility in the United States.

“Oil trains are bad for business in Vancouver,” said Don Orange, who runs Hoesly Eco Automotive in Vancouver.  “We have seen enough oil train explosions in 2015 alone to know that we shouldn’t gamble our city’s future on this dangerous way of moving volatile oil.  Our businesses, our customer base, and our local economy simply don’t need this risk.”

In early 2015, at least four major oil train derailments caused spills, fires and explosions in West Virginia, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada.  Almost two years ago, a catastrophic oil train accident killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

Orange was joined by dozens of supporters and customers, as well as several other local business leaders, many of whom arrived at the press conference in hybrid or other “clean” vehicles. The businesses objecting to oil-by-rail in Vancouver posted a growing photo petition calling for Washington to deny the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal proposal. 

Several members of the group will travel to Olympia in Tesla cars and other hybrid vehicles on Thursday to deliver their message to the Governor’s office.

Ryan Palmer, owner of Torque Coffee Roasters in downtown Vancouver, explained his reasons for speaking up against oil-by-rail in Vancouver.  “As a community, we have invested in our small businesses and our downtown.  Becoming a hub for explosive oil trains puts that investment at risk.  The trains would roll right next to our downtown, and our customers won’t accept the risk of a Lac Megantic-type disaster here in our community.”

Michelle Brinning, owner of a popular tasting room Cellar 55, talked about the threat oil trains pose to the viability of downtown businesses: “We have worked hard to build our shops and companies and it shows in the diversity of businesses that are successful here. Becoming an oil boom town goes directly against this trajectory. It is questionable how successful I can remain here if crude oil trains start rolling in. 

Laura Schissell, whose chiropractor practice  Abundant Health Clinic is also located in downtown Vancouver, highlighted the growing consensus in Vancouver against the proposed Tesoro terminal.

“Our business could be located anywhere, but it happens to be in the potential evacuation zone if there were an oil train accident as a result of the Tesoro-Savage proposal.  We need Governor Inslee to understand the potential harm oil-by-rail poses to our local economy here in Vancouver.”  Added, Schissell, “We’re not the only ones speaking out: the City of Vancouver, the Waterfront Development group, and the local Longshore Union agree.  We are joining a growing chorus calling for a stop to this crude-by-rail project.”

Christopher Read, with Arnada Naturals, highlighted their customers’ hope for a cleaner future for Vancouver.  “Arnada Naturals shares its name with the Arnada neighborhood here in Vancouver, one of over a dozen neighborhoods that have objected to this oil-by-rail scheme.  We support a clean, safe, healthy community – one that works for the entire community and doesn’t impose ridiculous hazards on homes, schools, and businesses like our own.”

The Tesoro-Savage proposal is under review by the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) and would be the largest oil-by-rail facility in the United States.  EFSEC will make a recommendation before Governor Inslee makes a final decision on the project.  NuStar Energy has proposed a second, smaller in Vancouver that is being reviewed by the City of Vancouver.

For more images of Vancouver businesses standing up to oil-by-rail, visit http://vancouver101.us.