Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and B.C. Premier John Horgan and former Tacoma mayor Marilyn Strickland discuss ‘clean grid’ project at the Cascadia conference, Seattle, Oct. 3, 2019. (B.C. government)

Building up joint electric grid next, John Horgan and Jay Inslee say

Cascadia conference moves beyond high-speed rail

B.C. and Washington state are moving ahead with plans to increase electrical grid connections across the border in the Cascadia region, Premier John Horgan and Gov. Jay Inslee say.

Horgan and Inslee announced the “clean grid initiative” Thursday at the annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor conference in Seattle. A working group to coordinate B.C. Hydro and Washington utilities will prepare for a “clean grid summit” to be held in 2020.

Both leaders agreed that having abundant hydroelectric power to serve as backup gives them more opportunity to develop intermittent sources such as solar power.

Horgan and Inslee also reiterated their support for a high-speed rail corridor linking Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

“This is the most rapidly growing area of North America, our province and our state,” Inslee told reporters after the conference. “We have no choice but to increase the carrying capacity of our transportation system, particularly north-south. We can’t build another 42 lanes next to the I-5.”

At the 2018 conference, B.C. contributed $300,000 towards a business case study of a high-speed rail link between Vancouver, Seattle and Portland.

The study was submitted to the Washington state legislature in July, with a conclusion that an ultra-high-speed transportation system “could be viable” for the Pacific Northwest region.

The study examines corridor options, possible station areas and potential ridership, as well as governing structures to administer the line across state and international borders, and financing alternatives.

RELATED: Green Gov. Inslee opposes Trans Mountain – quietly

RELATED: B.C., Washington pledge protection for orcas, salmon

Environmental protection has been a theme for the annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor conference, with joint efforts to improve salmon habitat and protect southern resident killer whales that inhabit coastal waters off B.C. and U.S. states.

Inslee has joined Horgan in opposition to expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, which was built in the 1950s. It is still the only pipeline supplying crude oil to Washington state’s refineries at Cherry Point near Blaine, March Point near Anacortes, and Ferndale.

Shell’s March Point complex began operations in 1958 with only Trans Mountain crude from Alberta, but in recent years the state gets nearly half its oil via daily tankers from Valdez, Alaska through the Salish Sea.

Oil train traffic to Washington started in 2012 and has risen rapidly. Volatile light crude from North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil deposits, the same product loaded on a train that exploded and killed 47 people in Lac Mégantic, Quebec in 2013, accounts for much of Washington’s oil by rail.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon player wins ATP tour event, named to Davis Cup squad

Vasek Pospisil joins Raonic, Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime in representing Canada

Snow falls at SilverStar Mountain Resort

Ski season just around the corner

Vernon up for advanced gas meters project

FortisBC to host information session for Vernon customers Wednesday

Spallumcheen administrator earns provincial coaching gig

Doug Allin will be head coach for Team BC men’s softball team at 2021 Canada Games in Ontarior

No outdoor rink for old Vernon Civic Arena site

The idea of putting in a temporary outdoor rink on 37th Avenue for 2019-20 is cost prohibitive

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

LETTER: Middle class better off with Trudeau’s child benefit boost

It’s a transfer, not a tax cut, but it helps families get ahead

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Morning Start: Today is the last day to cast a vote in the federal election

Your morning start for Monday, October 21st, 2019

Summerland council agrees to 30-year lease with steam railway

Tourist train has been operating as an attraction in Summerland since 1995

Speeding a concern on Summerland streets

Police observe fast motorists in town and on Highway 97

Most Read