Statement on Tesoro Savage’s Revised Application

Tesoro Savage’s Revised Application Does Nothing to Lessen Harms and Risk of Proposed Massive Oil-By-Rail Terminal in Vancouver, WA

This week, Tesoro Savage submitted a revised application for its Vancouver Energy proposal to Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). The Stand Up to Oil Campaign will review Tesoro Savage’s new information in the coming days, but nothing presented can detract from the inherent recklessness of Tesoro Savage’s plan to increase dangerous trains of crude oil rumbling through Spokane, Vancouver, and the Columbia River Gorge. And hundreds of oil tankers each year will dramatically increase oil spill risks in the Columbia River Estuary.

Tesoro Savage states that it “is willing to accept a condition” that would limit the initial volume of crude oil handled at the terminal as a response to public safety concerns, but this provision covers only the first two years of a 20 to 50 year project.  The reality is that Tesoro Savage lacks contracted customers for its oil, and oil-by-rail proposals are facing steep opposition and a weak market. Just this week, Shell Puget Sound Refinery canceled plans to build an oil-by-rail terminal in Anacortes, WA – a clear signal that the Pacific Northwest is turning away from oil-by-rail.

Dan Serres, Conservation Director for Columbia Riverkeeper:

“No late-game smoke and mirrors will distract from the recklessness of Tesoro Savage’s proposal. We learned again during the Mosier oil train derailment and fire in June that oil trains are dangerous, and the Vancouver Energy project would bring more of them through cities, tribal fishing sites, and the Columbia River Gorge. Tesoro faces unprecedented opposition to this project for a reason: it’s an unacceptable risk to the health, safety and livelihoods of people who live close to oil train routes and the Columbia River.”

Kristen Boyles, Earthjustice, Attorney representing Intervenors before EFSEC:

“This project simply doesn’t pencil out, and it’s galling for Tesoro Savage to be claiming that its lack of customers represents a commitment to safety.  Tesoro is desperately making up reasons why it should build North America’s largest oil-by-rail terminal after 5-weeks of evidence – including testimony from cities, tribes, businesses, union leaders, and physicians – cast doubt on the whole thing.”

Rebecca Ponzio, Stand Up to Oil Campaign Director:

“Shell Puget Sound Refinery withdrew an oil-by-rail application just yesterday. The collapse of Shell’s Anacortes oil-by-rail proposal is a clear signal that the Northwest is rejecting oil-by-rail. Tesoro Savage will not benefit the Vancouver region or our state; we should not put our people and environment at risk for private big oil gain. ”

EFSEC is expected to issue a recommendation on the Vancouver Energy project in 2016. Washington’s Governor will make a final decision on the project, likely in 2017.

Contact: Daniel Serres,, 971.634.2030
Rebecca Ponzio,, 206.240.0493