The Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington are facing a quadrupling of their crude-by-rail terminal capacity to over a million barrels a day. Sightline Institute commissioned this report from Oil Change International (OCI) to examine the impact that expansion would have on climate change.
In Tracking Emissions: The Climate Impacts of the Proposed Crude-by-Rail Terminals in the Pacific Northwest, OCI deploys the oil industry’s own forecasting and modeling tools together with a detailed examination of the Northwest facilities’ configurations. Key findings in the report concern:
- Propping up Canadian tar sands: In the absence of new pipelines, Northwest rail terminals would be the sole driver of new growth in Canadian tar sands oil.
- Multiplying oil extraction and climate pollution: Oil train facilities in the Northwest could unlock as much as 382,000 barrels per day of new tar sands production that would otherwise not be extracted. The resulting greenhouse gas pollution from extra tar sands production could be as much as 106 million metric tons per year of carbon dioxide—the equivalent of doubling the total greenhouse gas pollution of Washington state.
- Feeding the Bakken beast: Northwest oil train terminals could also lead to more oil drilling in the Bakken formation, as much as 114,000 barrels per day beyond what would be produced without the terminals. The resulting greenhouse gas pollution from this extra production could be as much as 30 million tons per year of carbon dioxide—the equivalent of doubling the number of cars on the road in Oregon and Washington.
Care to comment? The report is also featured here.
View the press release for this report here.