For Immediate Release: May 24, 2016
Contact: Eric de Place, [email protected]sightline.org, 206-447-1880 x105
GRAYS HARBOR, WA—Gloomy financial prospects, a poor safety record, and community distrust dog Westway, the company proposing to develop a massive oil shipping facility at the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington. A new report from Sightline Institute shows that the Louisiana-based company has much to prove to the community, which is known for vibrant fishing and tourism sectors—industries that would shoulder significant risks from the project.
Many Grays Harbor residents worry about the risk of an explosive oil train derailment or a crude oil spill. Westway’s litany of safety violations, including failing to report a hazardous spill at an Illinois facility, raise serious questions about whether the firm can be trusted to safely operate a large crude oil terminal in the Northwest. And the company has made matters worse by attempting to short-circuit Washington’s legal permitting and review processes. Sightline’s report also shows that the project rests on shaky finances: Westway has a “junk” bond rating in part owing to the company’s missteps at Grays Harbor.
“Our research confirms Grays Harbor residents’ misgivings about this oil proposal and about the company pushing it forward,” says report author and Sightline policy director Eric de Place. “Westway would jeopardize the region’s greatest resources. It’s a bad deal for the community.”
See the full report, “The Facts about Westway,” at sightline.org/westway.
Sightline Institute is an independent think tank providing leading original analysis of energy, economic, and environmental policy in the Pacific Northwest.