It is not as much of a stretch as it may sound. Much of their expressed opposition centers around the assumption of a pristine river and river front, fears of pollution to the river and the soil, assumed dangers of the product to workers and those living near the port and more.
In my estimation, fears raised and blown out of proportion to promote their BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything thanks John Laird) attitude to force the world to conform to their views.
For those that might not remember due to youth or not learning history, Vancouver played an instrumental role in winning World War Two as it became a major shipyard, turning out liberty ships, tank-landing ships, escort aircraft carriers, attack transports, troop ships, cargo vessels and even two 14,000-ton dry docks.
Can you imagine today, the city council and Progressives demanding no shipyard along the Columbia River and how the war effort could have faltered? Not to mention how such a major undertaking ballooned the Vancouver, Clark County economy as the modest population 18,000 at the beginning of the war blossomed to over 100,000, people working either in the shipyard or supporting it outside in some manner.
I know, you’re likely thinking that was a different time with different circumstances, but is it really all that much different, other than attitudes from that small group with a loud voice?
Yes, the war on Terror is winding down as we abandon the efforts worldwide, but terrorism remains, even admitted to as one commenter mentioned an oil terminal would make Vancouver a major target for terrorists at the March 24, 2014 City Council meeting.
But, we are in a crisis in that we have an unacceptable long term unemployment rate, a faltering economy and that state faces a severe shortage of revenue due to that.
Democrats and Progressives seem to feel the perpetual extension of unemployment benefits is the answer, but that only increases the burden on those fortunate enough to still be working as well as employers struggling to remain in business.
The shot in the arm needed is a growth in good, family wage jobs for the middle class. The very sort of jobs that would be created with the oil terminal, not the concrete jungle development of high end condominiums and retail Democrats & Progressives prefer to be constructed on the river front that would bring only minimum wage jobs for the middle class.
Unwittingly, Matt Landon, a very vocal activist for Vancouver Action Network, a group that in my opinion borders on eco-terrorism, admitted to such in a comment left under an op-ed on March 23, 2014 Local View: Job-creation aspect lost in oil terminal debate.
In part Landon said,
“Barry Cain’s downtown development is slated to employ over 5,000 people and house 5,000 residents and create buildings that will exist for the foreseeable future.”
“The Tesoro-Savage oil terminal is proposed to employ 250 temporary construction workers and then employ 120 people for the 10 year lease or until the Bakken is pumped dry, whichever comes first?”
“Can anyone else do the math? If not here are the numbers.”
“Downtown development employees”
“$7.25 an hour equals $15,080 a year times 5,000 employees equals $75,400,000 per year combined income.”
“$50,000 a year times 120 employees equals $6,000,000 per year combined income.”
First off, the waterfront project creating 5,000 jobs is not just wishful thinking, it is delusional. But even if it did, how much public assistance would those 5,000 require? And, what revenues could they be paying to counter how much they would be depending on?
The oil terminal, on the other hand, would see an increase in rail employees and workers, likely union workers to maintain and work the port in transferring the oil all earning union wages, as well as an increase outside the port of businesses cropping up locally to feed those workers, give them more shopping for themselves and their families as well as creating or purchasing the clothes and tools they would need.
Landon is clever in inserting “until the Bakken is pumped dry,” trying to give the impression that it is a short term process soon ending. In fact, several have cried just the same for years now in their effort to end the use of fossil fuels.
But, the American Enterprise Institute conducted their own analysis, resulting in Bakken oil boom in North Dakota might last for 100 years.
As advancements are made in drilling techniques, might it go on even longer?
We are also being warned by these people of the dangers inherent in such an oil terminal, even the possibility of a train derailment. While the likelihood is slim, given the slow speeds trains travel here and the level grade, there is always a degree of danger in just about everything we humans do.
Just crossing the street can result in being run over, but we still cross them. We have a major airport across the river with aircraft flying over our city in approach every day. We even saw a major airplane crash once across the river and in a neighborhood.
Do these ne'er–do–wells demand the airport be closed or aircraft diverted to not fly over the city? No.
Many were advocates of forcing light rail on the community, ignoring that many have died as a result of being hit by light rail.
But what really strikes me with these people and their cries of dangers, other than how are they able to leave their homes at any time, none have ever raised any concerned with the grain elevator at the port, even though several have caught fire and exploded across the world, grain dust being highly volatile.
If they are really concerned with an oil fire, why do they not also worry about a grain dust fire?
Had these same people, with dire warnings of a 10.0 earthquake causing major pollution with an oil terminal, ignoring such a strong earthquake would likely leave little standing or living in the region, been around in the 1940’s, might they have blocked the very effort seen that contributed to defeated a barbaric enemy and freeing millions of people?
Bottom line is, we need jobs, good paying jobs and get the middle class back to work, not force them onto perpetual government dependence.
An oil terminal at our port would contribute much in achieving that goal.
The hyperbole and fearmongering being used, along with threats “to shut down the entire oil by rail industry and cost the oil and rail companies billions of dollars” means fewer jobs, less revenue and a greatly decreased living standard for all.
It is time for people of all political stripes to push back on these fringe activists. Tell them “ENOUGH!”
You need jobs, you need to work and earn a decent living and it is they standing in your way.