If you’re following Sightline’s work on Northwest oil-by-rail projects, you may enjoy listening to this radio segment I did this week on KBOO, a community radio station based in Portland.
The piece is around 15 minutes long, and you can listen at this link. I’d like to give a big “thanks” to Old Mole Variety Hour host Laurie Mercier for a well-crafted interview session.
A few hours after my interview aired, the Vancouver City Council passed a strongly-worded resolution opposing the giant oil-by-rail transshipment scheme proposed on the waterfront by oil company Tesoro. Things are starting to get interesting on the Columbia.
Connect Oregon is a state funding source for port, airport and train multimodal transportation projects. This Wednesday, June 11th, 8-5, and if they are not done on Wednesday, also Thursday, there will be a meeting at the Airport Holiday Inn in Portland of the final review committee. The group that will make the near-final decisions about which projects will be funded.
Of the likely to be funded projects are two in which you might be interested:
Berth 2 – Beaver Doc will improve a dock at Port Westward, near Clatskanie Oregon. Will citizens pay a couple of million towards this $5 m project designed to facilitate the movement of coal from Ambre Energy’s barges to sea-going deep water vessels?
Rainier would improve the P&W train tracks and add crossing gates to allow the Bakken oil trains to move though Rainier more quickly. Would that be safer or more dangerous?
You can learn much more, more than you likely want to know, by looking at the 106 applications, totally $126m, that are competing for $42 million Connect Oregon dollars. They are at the Connect Oregon. Of course, if not allocated, this $42 m might help pay for public safety, education and social services. The $42 m for this biennium is a done deal, who will get the money is not.
When you look at the application packages for each project, I recommend you start near the end, with the application itself, then go back and read the staff and review committee evaluations. These projects have already been reviewed by three committees, a model committee (dock or train), the freight committee, and the Region 1 committee, and have been scored high in each, making them likely to be funded.
They will take public testimony at the meeting. Tax Fairness Oregon will be raising questions about a few of the projects, including these two. We thought you might be interested in speaking up too. In our experience, usually no one from the public is at these meetings, except the folks making the decisions.
Here’s the link to the project applications and reviews. Look under Region 1.
Here’s the link to the project applications and reviews. Look under Region 1. ftp://ftp.odot.state.or.us/ConnectOregonVApps/