An Oil Terminal, Jobs and Opposing Activism

by lewwaters

Meet Don Charles Steinke, well known in Clark County as an anti-fossil fuel activist. Don is sincere in his activism and is well spoken and well versed in his one point of view.

First, my apologies to Don for singling him out, but I also know he has been chomping at the bit for a chance to spread his message here. A message I personally feel is somewhat misguided.

In the brief excerpt from his introduction at last year’s Climate Debate held in Vancouver above, Don states his view and from my research, is mistaken.

Being on the “brink of a climate disaster” remains highly debatable among scientists, a fact prominently brought out in the Climate Debate last October.

But Don is also wrong on “the fossil fuel industry has continuously opposed conservation.”

A quick Google search revealed;

December 1990 New York Time LTE: Why Oil Companies Back Conservation

April 23, 2009 Oil Companies Embrace Energy Efficiency

2013 Saving energy in the oil and gas industry

Citgo: Environment Protection, Conservation and Restoration

Marathon Oil Corporation: Environment and Conservation

Santoro Oil: Save Energy, Save Money Through Conservation

American Petroleum Institute: Environment & Safety

2014 Energy use: BP and sustainability

2014 Shell Global: Energy efficiency in our own operations

Suffice it to say, there is a plethora of information showing Don is mistaken where he claims, “the fossil fuel industry has continuously opposed conservation.”

Given that, Don’s main point of interest of late seems to be stopping the construction of a much needed oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver. I say much needed because our community sure could use the family wage jobs that it would bring with it.

But Don also has a point in that there are dangers involved. But what in life doesn’t come with some element of danger involved?

Just stepping outside your home can be wrought with danger if you drive, ride a bicycle or even walk. We are not even totally safe in our homes, but most of us don’t roll up in a ball throughout our life out of fear of known dangers.

But, that element of danger is being used in opposing the oil terminal, primarily train derailments in other parts of the world and our country, some fiery with some loss of life.

It would be a lie to claim that is not a valid concern, but again, where it is claimed “13 oil trains have ruptured and spilled in two years,” how many airplanes have crashed in that same time period?

How many trucks have wrecked?

How many car accidents involving pedestrians have there been?

Yes, a derailment is a concern and no one, least of all the oil company, wants to see an accident that costs them profits, draws the scorn of the public and even they do not want any loss of life.

So, safety is an issue of concern and efforts are underway, but from government and the company’s to improve safety. Will it ever be 100% safe? Doubtful, but as I said above, what in life is?

None of us live in a bubble.

Odd to that those like Don adamantly opposed to this job creating oil terminal have no problem with a grain elevator at the Port. Surely they are aware of the volatility of grain dust.

But no one expresses any concern over that.

Likewise, I do not recall any fiery major train derailments here even though those same oil trains have been coming through for decades and regardless of whether or not the oil terminal is built, will continue, city council’s have no jurisdiction over federally controlled and privately owned rails.

But I do recall a major airline crash in 1978 across the river that cost ten lives as a DC-8 ran out of fuel short of the airport and came down in a Gresham neighborhood.

Look up sometime and see how many airplanes still come in to and leave Portland International Airport, our community being under the Approach/Departure pattern.

And instead of the oil terminal, people want to see a concrete jungle waterfront project, complete with Condominiums, even more retail space, yet another convention center, a hotel and high end restaurants?

Offering only minimum wage service jobs, how livable do you think those condominiums will be once prospective buyers hear the Air Force fighter jets roaring overhead taking off?

I do not fault Don in his anti-fossil fuel activism, he has done his homework and is well-versed in his view. But, it is only one point of view.

There is a lot to be considered beyond the fearmongering of “bomb-trains” and derailments.

Not the least of which is we really need those family wage middle class jobs.

I invite readers to review any of the past posts I have written contained at Energy Post Archives

Surely we can find a balance!

12 Comments to “An Oil Terminal, Jobs and Opposing Activism”

  1. Like most leftists, Don’s biggest problem is that he’ll do absolutely anything he can to get his own way.

    Lie, exaggerate, demand of others what he himself won’t do… like demand that we stop using petroleum based products that he uses without a second thought… and is, in reality, more to be pitied than admired.

    The problem is that like many on the fringe-left, he lacks a life. Thus, he does have one ability: he shows up.

    And those who show up run the world.

  2. Not only are the Lefty’s wrong about climate change … they’re also wrong about fossil fuels. I recently read a book, “The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels” by Alex Epstein. It explains how not only are fossil fuels beneficial to humans living on this planet, but that their use is the morally correct course of action.

    Energy gives us the ability to improve every single aspect of life, both economic and environmental. If you look at the choices between fossil fuels and the alternatives, you’ll see that fossil fuels make the world a better place. Most of the “facts” we hear about fossil fuels (from the Left) are wrong. By using fossil fuels, we are able to make our world cleaner and safer for human life. The more developed economies are wealthy enough to afford the measures that clean up pollution. Those (countries) who are energy poor are unable to grow and distribute food efficiently, and can’t afford to clean up the pollution that accompanies the inefficient industries that operate to provide for their needs.

    As for the Oil Terminal … the oil will go out one way or another. That is a fact. Vancouver (SW Washington) can benefit from it… or the terminal will be built somewhere else — and some others will get the benefits of economic activity and jobs that a terminal will bring.

    I worked half my career with a major railroad (in marketing and sales/management). I can assure you that the rail carriers do not wish to have accidents (though they do happen) and they do their best (subject to practical limits and human error) to avoid negative occurrences. Each time there is an accident, it is used to learn how to better avoid the next one.

    My prior home (in the SF Bay Area) had 3 major oil refineries within 20 miles. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, there were frequent nasty odors emanating from one or another refinery. By the 1980s, such pollution was exceedingly rare. Now only a serious accident causes an air pollution release … and years pass between such incidents. The technology has improved and those running the operations are doing a much better job at being “good neighbors.” I have no doubt that the Oil Terminal, when it is built here, will be a “good neighbor” as well.

  3. Atmospheric levels of CO2 today are 40% higher than they averaged for the last 10,000 years. Do you think there will be no consequences?

  4. As I am sure you are aware, Don, consequential matters of CO2 is one of those points scientists are in disagreement over.

    Then again, is there really a huge concern over CO2 what with some 1,700 Private Jets reported ferrying individuals to Davos, Switzerland for the 2015 World Economic Forum?

    CO2 Nears 400 ppm – Relax! It’s Not Global Warming ‘End Times’ — But Only A ‘Big Yawn’

  5. Let me also add, Don, lest you think I am completely against caring for the environment, I am not.

    Before retiring in 2009, as part of my job I was a Washington State Automotive Emission Specialist

    We were the only ones that could write a waiver for a vehicle failing the emissions test if a repair showed improvement, but still failing.

    In all of the years I was certified (you have to working to be certified) I never wrote a single waiver. As far as i was concerned, the customer repaired the vehicle properly, or parked it.

    I also argued against the change to exempt vehicles 5 years and newer from emissions testing. My argument was that in the previous two years, a failed emissions test uncovered no less than 5 local vehicles with engine troubles that did not show up in performance on newer vehicles and that I was able to repair under warranty at no cost to the owner.

    As I am sure you know, the exemption went through.

    While we may disagree on causes, I do support people keeping a vehicle in good condition.

    But, as I ask in the post, that is part of the balance I believe we can achieve.

  6. I believe Steinke is nothing more than a mindless follower of greenie propaganda. He even admitted that he could NOT present any actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing dangerous global warming.

    But he continues spreading the climate lies of Al Gore and greedy green profiteers such as GE which sells about $27 billion/yr in alternative energy, the WWF which is trying to make $60 billion/yr from carbon offsets and the big banks looking to get the government to create a $10 TRILLION carbon trading market for their profiteering.

    Then there is the money from the Middle East who want us to continue making them rich so they can finance terrorism. This money goes into propaganda to get us to stop fracking. And Russian money has been detected too.

    Why does Steinke fall for their lies?

  7. Janet . . . I don’t demand we use no petroleum products, I just urge society to use less. My 1991 Daihatsu gets 45 mpg on the freeway and was the most fuel efficient vehicle at the time.

    I refuse to take long distance pleasure trips, instead enjoy visiting the incomparable Columbia Gorge, Puget Sound, and Oregon Coast.

    When I was teaching science in a private Christian school, my employer refused to replace the inefficient ballasts in the hallway light fixtures, so I did it for him.

    It cost me $3000 and now will save the school $1000 per year indefinitely.

    Whenever the market is flooded with oil, the sales of fuel efficient cars decline. People have less incentive to use less.

    Its time to turn the page. Oil is a thing of the past. We need to focus on the economy of the future.

    A lease for a Nissan Leaf is $199 per month and will save $100 per month on gasoline.

    Pat Campbell took me for a demo ride in his Leaf. When he picked me up, his gauges said, 60 miles remaining. He took me up Larch Mountain in East County. At the top, the gauges said, 20 miles remaining.

    On the way back down, the battery recaptured the energy and when he dropped me off, the gauge said 33 miles remaining. Wow . . . like getting free gasoline put back into the tank coming down hill.

  8. One of the paradoxes of energy conservation is that once an individual implements conservation measures, they actually begin to use more of what they were conserving. This is particularly true of energy conservation. People get a car that uses less fuel — and then they drive more. This is a well documented situation.

    It’s “nice” that you don’t demand using no petroleum products and you are free to urge society to use less. But each individual may wish to make individual choices that differ from your opinion. I converted my previous home to nearly 100% CFL (fluorescent lights) and installed a new, more efficient furnace and water heater (the house was 45+ years old at the time). But I also owned an RV that got 5 mpg on diesel at that time.

    I’m currently converting my new home to LEDs (as the incandescent bulbs die) … but I still have an RV, though a much smaller one that gets 18 mpg on diesel. These are my choices. They may not be yours.

    As a society, we need to eliminate artificial subsidies (and penalties) from products (such as petroleum) and allow market rates to guide individual choices. Price gives signals and information to participants in a market, and they can then choose to spend based on their own needs and desires.

  9. I’d love a source for that bizarre 40% figure.

    NASA says it’s 24% but what do they know?

    And, in direct answer to his question: THIS country is not the source of the increase in question. Punishing us…penalizing us… being a rank hypocrite around us (Tell us Don, how much CO2 have YOUR activities produced?) around us is not the answer.

  10. Individually, Don, I believe most people have reduced their usage of petroleum. At least in vehicles. As I am sure you are aware, petroleum and petroleum byproducts are utilized in a wide range of products we use every day.

    You have the freedom and right to take whatever trips please you. But, so do others. Personally, I don’t take many trips any longer, but fly most of the time to save time. My last cross-country drive was in 2009 when I helped my daughter move back from Texas.

    But, with family in Florida and my wife’s family in Texas, we expect some travel if we desire to see each other. And, just as it is your right to not travel, we have the right to travel by means of our choosing as well.

    Many of us, by choice or by coercion, installed compact florescent bulbs in our homes, believing we were doing something to benefit energy consumption and the environment. LED’s were not on the market then and they remain very expensive for the average person.

    Still, we switched to CFL’s at the behest of the Green’s, not realizing they came with their own set of problems, not the least of which is potential mercury poisoning. LED’s show promise, but remain just too expensive for the average consumer.

    While there might be an element of truth in your claim, “Whenever the market is flooded with oil, the sales of fuel efficient cars decline,” so what? Is it up to you or me to decide what others are permitted to use?

    Let me also say, as one who spent over 45 years in the Automotive trade, improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions over the decades have been remarkable. Also, the so-called gas guzzlers (other than trucks and SUV’s) are not big sellers, very few actually purchased compared with more efficient mid-size family sedans.

    But too, by what right do either of us have to dictate what someone else is permitted to drive? Especially considering how many “Green Celebrities” hire out stretch limousines to “carry them in style” when they appear at some event after arriving in a private jet? Shouldn’t they be the first to lead by example and curtail their usage of energy? (Think Al Gore’s home)

    EV’s have improved, but the pollution created manufacturing them as well as the pollution from mining the heavy metals for the batteries remains a concern. Most people touting how they are not polluting the air fail to realize the pollution created elsewhere in manufacture or even from increased energy production to recharge the batteries. Fortunately for us, that is not as major a concern as in other regions since we rely more on hydro-electric.

    Still, EV’s are not for every one and are not trouble free, nothing is.

    An article out of the UK a couple years ago always gives me a chuckle on them: London to Edinburgh by electric car: it was quicker by stagecoach

    And here again, by what right does anyone have to dictate how someone else may live their life in what is supposed to be a free society?

    And where would the EV Industry be without taxpayers picking up a portion of the bill?

    Lastly, another one that makes me smile, if these so-called alternative Green energy sources are to be considered so grand, why have those promoting them the loudest opposed their construction in their own backyards?

    For Cape Cod Wind Farm, New Hurdle Is Spiritual

    Senator Feinstein Seeks to Block Solar Panels In Mojave Desert

    An Ill Wind Off Cape Cod

    Ted Kennedy Blocks Cape Cod Wind Farm

    Environmentalists Fight Calico solar farm

    Animals Rights Activists Blocking Wind Farms

    Decision Promised Soon on Cape Cod Wind Farm

    Conservation group sues to stop California solar plant

    If they are good enough for us, shouldn’t they be good enough for them as well?

  11. An interesting discussion I stumbled across last night on the NOAA’s claim of CO2 at Watts Up With That

    Not so much the post itself, but the extensive comments show we may actually be in more of a CO2 famine historically.

  12. Steinke—-“I don’t demand we use no petroleum products, I just urge society to use less. My 1991 Daihatsu gets 45 mpg on the freeway and was the most fuel efficient vehicle at the time.”
    ME — Who gave yo the right to tell others how to live?

    BTW why do you continue spouting Al Gore’s climate propaganda when you cannot show any evidence that supports the claim that man’s CO2 is causing dangerous global warming?
    Do you even know that the earth quit warming 18+ years ago? Do you even know the IPCC estimate of warming after 1998 is so low that cooling is within the error band?

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