Clark College found itself at the center of local activism on June 8, with multiple hearings for a possible new oil terminal that could be built in the Port of Vancouver.
Clark County officials held a 12-hour meeting in Gaiser Hall to discuss the terminal with local businesses and community members.
Many activists and community members showed up to the meeting adorned in red shirts, representing opposition to the terminal. During the hearings, attendees stepped up to a microphone to express their concerns to city officials about the oil terminal’s impact to the local environment and economy.
“We wanted to amplify our voices,” said Cecile Gernez, conservation organizer for the Sierra Club. “We wanted to really amplify that for the media, for our activists to be able to speak, scream and hold up their signs and really feel that beautiful rage that they have about this issue.” The Sierra Club is one of several environmental groups who showed up to display opposition against the terminal.
The terminal was proposed in a joint effort between logistics firm Savage Industries and Tesoro Corp. which is an oil company based in San Antonio, Texas. Proponents for the terminal say that it will create 300 construction jobs and will provide around 200 long term jobs. It will also be the largest oil terminal in the country moving around 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
“This terminal would drive away far more jobs than it would create,” said Dan Serres, director for Riverkeeper’s Conservation. Serres went on to explain how building the oil terminal in the Port of Vancouver would increase pollution in the area and create a smell that would permeate through the local community, making it difficult for local businesses to thrive.
The terminal, which is nearly into its fourth year of evaluation, will be voted on within the coming months by Governor Jay Inslee.