CREATE News Summary

CREATE website is
Columbia Riverkeeper website is

The Oregon Public Utilities Commission (Commission) has final say on whether Global Partners can buy massive oil storage tanks from a neighboring industrial site at Port Westward, near Clatskanie, Oregon. The Commission can stop Global Partners’ tank farm expansion if it finds the sale is not “consistent with the public interest.”  The public hearing is this coming Tuesday in Salem.  Details here:

Dan Serres told our June CREATE meeting that Washington Governor Jay Inslee will have the final say on Fracked Gas to Methanol in Kalama, on Oil by Rail in Vancouver, and on Coal Export from Longview.  Contact Governor Inslee and remind him of the harm these projects pose to the Columbia River, its ecology and its existing economy.

Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Call at 360-902-4111
Fax at  360-753-4110

Even Spokane’s city council, far from the danger, has passed a resolution against fossil fuel projects on the Columbia.  Astoria, Warrenton and Long Beach have not.  The attached estimate of the economic and environmental damage from an oil spill may change their minds.  Here are Dan Serres comments about the report:

The Executive Summary, page S-8, says:
“Summarizing data from multiple incidents, the range of damages from other oil spill incidents scaled by the volume of oil spilled in the Columbia River scenarios is $232 million to $1.16 billion for the tanker grounding, and $24.4 million to $122 million for the train derailment. The restoration-based damages estimate of $171.3 million calculated for the vessel grounding is below this range; the damages estimate of $84.9 million calculated for the train derailment is within this range. These estimates do not include damages from oil discharged to the ocean, which, if considered, would result in substantially higher estimated damages.”

The report gives a lot of detail about damages to fishing, fish habitat, and the businesses that support on-the-river activities. But it also is likely a very low range of the damages, ignoring discharges to the ocean, impacts to tribal fisheries, impacts to drinking water and other services, and other issues that will balloon the cost far beyond 1.16 billion. Notably, the report acknowledges that other major oil spills on the Kalamazoo River (from a pipeline) and in Lac Megantic, Quebec (from an oil train) had damages in the billions.

I think this is useful because it was one of the pieces of information that led the Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson to oppose the project. And it directly contemplates major harm to Astoria and other communities downriver from the oil terminal.

The second PDF attached is a draft resolution for the Astoria City Council prepared by Pamela.  The thinking at the June meeting was that we determine the next Astoria Council meeting with a light agenda and gather at that meeting to support it.
We will explore asking to be put on the agenda and/or submitting the resolution and the oil spill damage report to the council and staff in advance.

We’ve been asked to organize a cleanup locally along the Columbia.  Kathleen says she will take on the project when she gets back from her schnitzel orgy in Germany.
“I am Kate Sundberg, a summer intern with Columbia Riverkeeper. I am writing to you all to see if CREATE would be interested in organizing a clean up or event in Astoria for 2017 Love Your Columbia Day. Love Your Columbia Day is a day when there are community river cleanups, invasive species eradication, and restoration projects in local communities along the Columbia River. This year Love Your Columbia Day will take place on August 26, 2017 at various locations along the Columbia River. Please let me know if you would like to host a clean up/event and feel free to email or call (541-387-3030) for more information or if you have any questions. Thank you!”

I wrote to Jody McCaffree to express our with to support their battle against Jordan Cove.  Here was her response.
“Thank you so much for your concern and offer to help.  I can add you to my e-mail update list where I let people know when there is an opportunity to do something.  Sending letters and comments into the agencies when they are needed or hounding public officials concerning their positions on this project is very helpful.  We need to also put pressure on the Trump administration because his administration’s position of putting industry first at any cost is NOT in line with putting AMERICA FIRST.”

The 3rd and 4th attachments are from Mike Cook from Tillamook County regarding the CleanEnergyJobs Bill, which he would like us to endorse.  In the future he plans to seek the support of the Clatsop County Commission.

That’s enough for now.

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