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

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Museum asks British Columbians for COVID-19 nature observations

Royal BC Museum collects information as part of ongoing pandemic project

Oak Bay pool to reopen Aug. 17

Swimming, other activities return this month

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read