Disclaimer: I am not in the employ of anyone associated with nor have I ever received any support in any form, monetary or otherwise from anybody even remotely associated with the proposed Oil Terminal under consideration at the Port of Vancouver.
There has been a lot of fearmongering going on by those who absolutely hate petroleum, even though they depend on it daily for their own lifestyles. We hear of plummeting property values, bomb trains, blast zones and more as they attempt to instill fear in citizens to block the proposed Oil Terminal.
While there are always inherent dangers in every walk of life, much of what the oil haters are spewing is pure bovine scatology.
I grew up in Southeast Florida not very far from Port Everglades, “South Florida’s main seaport for receiving petroleum products including gasoline, jet fuel, and alternative fuels. The port serves as the primary storage and distribution seaport for refined petroleum products, distributing fuel to residents of 12 Florida counties.”
As you can see in the image below, it is huge, “composed of land within three municipalities, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach and unincorporated Broward County,” much larger than anything proposed for the Port of Vancouver.
The Port was established in 1928 and has been active ever since, growing into “the world’s third busiest cruise port” along with its storage and transfer of petroleum products.
Have there been accidents? I am sure, but I am unable to uncover any reports of any massive explosions as those being forewarned by the oil haters. I do not recall any ever while I was living just a few minutes south.
If you look closely at the image, you will note several homes just outside the port. These home values also belie the claims of “plummeting property values” as a quick peek at Zillow.com shows property values skyrocketing around the port, some well over $1 Million in value.
In this next Google earth image is a close-up look at a piece of property just across from the Port that when I was a teenager in the 1960’s, was barren beach, inaccessible other than by boat or beach buggy since there no road built to reach it then.
As much as the haters try to deny it, petroleum remains the lifeblood of modern society. In terms of energy, no other energy source comes close to matching it in efficiency, reliability or affordability. And Petroleum Companies, in spite of more false claims, pay Billions in revenue.
Now, as I said above, yes there are dangers involved, but who better strives to mitigate those dangers than the companies themselves? For all of the claims of Oil Company greed, it seems to escape the haters that such accidents cost these companies dearly, not only in profits but in public opinion.
Then too, there already exists a dangerous customer at the Port, a Grain Terminal that has operated successfully for some time and as any other company does, diligently monitors and controls their danger for safety.
But not one of the oil haters bellowing about “blast zones” or “Bomb Trains” raises so much as an eyebrow about the grain terminal.
I have also heard mention of hopefully bringing a cruise ship operation into the area should the massive minimum wage, concrete jungle Waterfront Project be built. Claims are that no cruise ship would want to operate anywhere near an Oil Terminal.
Port Everglades puts that canard to rest, hosting a record 15 cruise ships on a single day, December 21, 2003.
Although claims are that the Oil Terminal at the Port of Vancouver would be the “largest oil by rail facility in the country,” it pales in comparison with the operations down in Port Everglades.
Ultimately, we need the terminal and the middle class, family wage jobs it brings. Not to mention jobs created outside the terminal either in direct support or indirectly from the increases in wages such a terminal will bring.
As I said before, the preferred Concrete Jungle Waterfront development cannot offer anything but minimum wage service or retail jobs that will not get people off of public assistance or provide as much revenue to the community as will the port.
Especially if the Vancouver City Council once again grants a major development another “tax abatement” so their profits will “pencil out.”
And let us not forget, there are over 1300 such transfer terminals operating in the country currently.
About those trains. Yes, they will be bringing oil into the community, but they have been traveling right through our community for decades now carrying oil elsewhere without incident.
And what’s more, they will continue traveling right through our community, carrying that much needed revenue elsewhere as the neither the city nor the county can stop them.
I hope you will look closely at the proposed terminal and how such a facility benefited the communities in Broward County Florida.
Our terminal here would pale in comparison in size and operation, but would be a real shot in the arm to benefit our community.
In the end, it is time to ignore the fearmongering naysayers that hate oil, but drive cars and trucks themselves and rely on the multitude other uses of petroleum every single day to enrichen their lives.
Time to tune them out and grow our community’s much needed jobs.