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.

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

Just Posted

Shoot the Moon pub passes public hearing stage

Rod Alsop and Jon Ludtke’s proposed pub is one step closer after a packed public hearing

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP visits Wet’suwet’en camps, calls for Coastal GasLink pipeline to be ‘revisited’

Paul Manly met with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and the RCMP to talk about the ongoing situation

BREAKING: LSS evacuated after reports of ‘gas smell’

Students were evacuated to Frank Jameson Community Centre, but have since returned to class

Successful end to search for kayakers along the Chemainus River

Father and son located tired and cold, but otherwise OK

Ladysmith Art Council announces new Poet in Residence

John Edwards will serve as the inaugural Poet in Residence

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Father to B.C.’s first MLB hall-of-famer is one proud dad

Larry Walker Sr. talks baseball background and son’s base running gaffe

Councillor in Revelstoke withdraws proposed 67% pay hike amid backlash

There was significant backlash to the proposed $25,000 and $70,000 wages

Most Read