My letter in The Reflector in support of Kris Greene and Vancouver Energy. This was a small expansion of my testimony given to the EFSEC Board a year ago.
As an airline captain, my Boeing 767 needs jet fuel refined from petroleum. Boeing is our state’s largest employer. They’d be out of business without jet fuel.
Access to jet fuel is so critical that my airline bought a refinery in the heart of Philadelphia, with much of the oil delivered by rail. Washington is the eighth or ninth largest consumer of jet fuel in the nation. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is expanding, a natural hub for global passenger and cargo flights.
Washington’s multi-billion-dollar aerospace industry is critically dependent not only on jet fuel, but lubricants and plastics and technology, all derived from or dependent on, the petroleum industry. The economies of the entire West Coast are tied together by refined oil products. Washington’s agricultural and manufacturing products are shipped worldwide.
Diesel fuel powers those ocean-going ships that frequent global ports. This includes our local ports of Camas-Washougal, Vancouver, Ridgefield, Kalama and Longview.
Two Washington Air Force bases use significant quantities of jet fuel for national security, not to mention diesel and gas used by the Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and naval facilities at Whidbey Island and Bremerton. The Coast Guard needs diesel fuel to patrol our state’s 3,000 miles of coastline. Our Washington state ferry system is the largest in the nation, and needs that low sulfur Bakken crude oil to be refined into clean diesel fuel.
For over three decades, the Port of Vancouver has safely handled all types of refined oil products with an impeccable safety record. Across the river, the Port of Portland presently has five to six times the storage capacity for refined oil products, as is being proposed for the Vancouver Energy facility.
We can and do handle oil products safely. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway reports that 99.99 percent of all their hazardous materials products are delivered safely, without incident.
The Vancouver Energy facility will decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil. It could displace 30 percent of the crude oil currently imported from foreign countries for use on the West Coast. We need American energy independence. We need to keep our “petro dollars” here at home.
We need Kris Green as a commissioner for the Port of Vancouver, and we need the family wage jobs the Vancouver Energy facility will bring to our side of the Columbia River. The economy of the entire West Coast will benefit.