I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss the Olympia port's proposed fuel dock with Michael Murphy (Aug. 15 letter to the editor). Friends with boats would welcome a fuel dock at the marine terminal if the gas were cheaper and non-ethanol. Most folks who fuel their boats use Boston Harbor, points north, or jerry cans, according to WSU's survey. Many boats are mostly moored, and use little fuel.
The port invited fuel dock proposals from local businesses but nobody responded, because it’s financially risky. Port staff's original analysis agreed: only by quadrupling expected diesel sales could a fuel dock pay off in 30 years (WSU assumed most local boats would fuel up at the port dock, despite higher prices).
Should the port subsidize a fuel dock with public dollars, for the convenience of select local boaters? A benefit could be reduced carbon emissions on fueling runs. In fact, the Port of Olympia nixed the fuel dock when it canceled over $13 million in projects recently, due to poor shipping income. This is not just my opinion, but it made Mr. Murphy mad. He was already walking away when I asked if he was a boater.
If we communicate with each other, we can better address local challenges.