Vancouver, Washington is my home. I live here with my nine-year-old daughter, and I am so proud of my city for being a leader in supporting safe, healthy communities. But, right now, oil giant Tesoro is proposing a new project that would transform the Port of Vancouver into one of the West Coast's largest oil ports -- and would drastically increase the carbon pollution fueling droughts, wildfires, and severe storms all over the world.
Tesoro’s proposal would potentially ship up to 360,000 barrels of crude oil every day along the Columbia River and would release more than 56 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year, as much as almost 12 million cars worth of greenhouse gas pollution.
I want the best for my daughter. I want her to live in a community that is safe, healthy, and forward-thinking. If the Port of Vancouver Commissioners approve this application from Tesoro, my family and friends will be at a greater risk for asthma and other health problems. We'll be at a greater risk, too, of devastating oil spills and environmental contamination.
The dangers from this oil export facility are too great. Earlier this month, an oil train derailed and exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 50 people and forcing thousands to evacuate their homes due to the fire and explosions. The proposed Tesoro oil export facility would carry the exact same kind of oil that tragically burned the Quebec town. The terminal would put more than 1,400 trains every year -- four full trains every day -- on route through Vancouver neighborhoods.
And even if we are lucky enough to avoid a tragedy like the horrific explosion in Quebec, this project is still a disaster for our community. It would increase the production of -- and pollution from -- dirty fossil fuels across the country. Right now, Vancouver is a leading shipper of wind turbine components. If this proposal is approved, instead of being a leader, exporting renewable energy solutions, Vancouver would become a leading pusher of the fossil fuels that are driving global climate change.
We can make a difference. Three years ago, the Port of Vancouver Commission rejected a proposal for a coal port after the community spoke out. With enough public outcry, we can make sure they make the right decision again.
At a time when we desperately need solutions that protect our climate and communities, this proposal is a major step backward. Please, send a message to the Vancouver Port Commissioners and tell them to reject Tesoro's dangerous proposal.