In my previous post I set a goal of sourcing our fuel to see if there are any meaningful decisions we can make around our gas purchases. Here's what I've discovered so far.
There are two primary ways refined fuels get to Spokane. There is a pipeline from Billings, Montana that runs through Spokane to Moses Lake. There are three refineries in Billings that process crude oil coming from Canada, probably the Calgary area.
There is a pipeline from Pasco to Spokane that transports fuel from a pipeline in Utah (that often is actually the fuel processed in Billings), or from fuel transported by barge from Portland along the Columbia River. This Portland fuel comes primarily from four refineries in Western Washington; Anacortes (2), Ferndale, and Tacoma, These refineries get their crude oil from Canada, Alaska and "foreign sources".
All this refined fuel is not only mixed together in the pipelines and tankers, but is also mixed together in holding tanks once it arrives in Spokane. This fuel is than pumped into the trucks with the proprietary cleansers and mixers that make the fuel a Conoco, Exxon or Costco etc. product.
So I can say with some certainty that most of the fuel at gas stations in the Spokane area comes from crude oil in Canada and Alaska, but there really is no way of sourcing fuel by choosing one gas station over another. They are all getting their fuel from the same pot of mixed up fuel sources.
I did find out that Grays Harbor, WA is home to one of the largest biodiesel refiners in the country, but after a year in operation it's not going so well. I wonder, is anyone in Spokane using cooking oil from local restaurants to run their cars?