While anti-coal activists have been lining up to oppose plans for coal export terminals in Washington state, the oil industry has been exploring a similar plan to move its product by rail to western ports.
Two companies have already started the application process to construct tank farms and rail facilities at the Port of Grays Harbor County.
Port of Grays Harbor and Hoquiam City officials say the move could bring millions of dollars in revenue and up to 80 jobs in the area that took an economic punch to the gut when the timber industry fell flat in the 1980s.
There is no pipeline across the Rockies through which to send oil to the West Coast, so the plan is to create a rolling pipeline on the railways. Large shipments could be store in oil tanks in Grays Harbor, Tacoma and other port cities. The supplies would then be shipped or barged to West Coast refineries or overseas.
Increased rail traffic has been a major cause of concern for the proposed coal terminals; it is certain to be an issue as the oil plan chugs along.