Stop Coal Exports
Coal Exports and Oil by Rail
The recent oil train
derailment in La Salle, CO and the oil train explosion in Lynchburg, VA are
stark reminders that a similar, maybe even more devastating, accident could
occur here in Washington State.
As of now an average of one
to two trains per day carry crude oil through Washington State.
There are two proposed oil
terminals in Grays Harbor. If approved, that would mean up to 23 trains per
week, each up to 1.3 miles long, would cut through downtown Spokane.
rail traffic in Spokane raises numerous concerns, especially because the rail cars would carry dangerous crude oil and have been
proven to be unsafe. In just the past ten months we've seen the dangers that
come from transporting crude oil by rail in which derailments have led to
explosions, fires, pollution, and in the sad case in Quebec, 47 deaths.
Sign Petition to put a moratorium on all new oil-by-rail permits
Yesterday, another train
carrying crude oil derailed, this time in Virginia, forcing the evacuation of
hundreds of residents. At least three cars caught fire and spilled for hours
into the James River, which is the capital Richmond's main water supply. It was
the sixth oil train accident in North America since the derailment that killed
47 people in Quebec last July.
Spokane and other towns on the
rail line are carrying increasing amounts of Bakken crude oil - a derailment in
Spokane could contaminate the river and impact thousands of residents. Given
the flammability of Bakken crude oil, and the increased number of derailments
as more trains transport oil, I believe this needs to be studied and addressed
before allowing more oil-by-rail trains to travel through Washington
The Lands Council has been involved in calling for a hard
look at the safety and environmental health issues of oil trains travelling our
region, and we think this petition will help raise awareness. The
petition asks Governor Inslee for a moratorium on all new oil-by-rail permits
until thorough, cumulative studies are conducted on all safety, health, and
environmental impacts from transporting oil by rail through our communities.
When you click on this link , the petition comes up for you to sign:
I encourage you to consider
signing the petition.
Mike Petersen, Executive Director
Imagine 40 -70 coal trains a day added to
the trains now moving through Spokane.
The Powder River Basin in Eastern Montana
and Wyoming holds billions of tons of coal, owned or leased by Arch Coal,
Peabody Energy and others. The companies are pushing for huge new coastal
terminals to be built near Bellingham and Longview to handle increased shipments
primarily bound for China.
This would add over 8,000 coal trains per year on Washington State's rail
system. Coal would be hauled on BNSF Railway right
through downtown Spokane.
Those who live along the rail lines that
would carry the coal through Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington share
concerns about the hidden costs to health, safety, the environment
Railroad engines burn diesel. Documented
health effects of diesel emissions near busy rail yards include chronic heart
and lung disease, and asthma. The very young and elderly are most affected.
Cancer is also implicated.
The rail industry says 500 pounds or
more of coal dust per car is lost in transit. That can destabilize rail beds,
contributing to derailments.
Keep up to date and for more information visit
Please contact Mike Petersen if
you have questions - mpetersen (at) landscouncil.org