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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

14 arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read