Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Action for today!

Your Comments are needed, deadline 8/28
The fifth refinery crude-by-rail proposal has a comment period closing the 28th. This one is the Shell Anacortes refinery proposal, and Skagit County is lead on the shoreline permit. They have determined there are no significant adverse impacts requiring an environmental impact statement. This is, of course, absurd.

I've written an article explaining the situation as best I understand it, which is here: In it, I discuss the fact that the state must intervene and assume lead agency status, because Skagit County is refusing to study rail impacts at all beyond the site, much less cumulative rail and vessel traffic (for folks in the Grays Harbor area: the issues are very similar to the ones you faced there). The state may intervene during this comment period, so their deadline is alsoAugust 28th.

There is also information in the article on how to comment on the study being conducted by the state Dep't of Ecology, at the direction of the governor, on risks associated with transporting Bakken crude-by-rail. The irony is that everyone acknowledges there are risks; the only issue is how to respond to the inevitable impacts? Yet, the counties are being allowed to issue mitigated determinations of nonsignificance. This has to stop!

Please take a moment to read the article, and contact your networks to let them know we have a very narrow window to press the state to intervene in Skagit County. Please feel free to frame the issues in your own words, in whatever way you believe best communicates the issues and the urgency.

Thank you!

Terry J. Wechsler
Bellingham, WA

Columbia River Gorge fire chiefs learned mile-long oil trains moved through their communities not from railroads but because of this April photo by an amateur photographer. (Jozsef Urmos/Special to The Oregonian)

As Oregon meets to strengthen oil train disclosure, BNSF questions media's presence

"Wouldn't it be easier if the press wasn't here?" BNSF's Pat Brady asked. 

The Columbian editorial board meets with Oil Execs concerning oil train safety

5 things you should know about Oregon's coal terminal permit rejection

Oregon's Department of State Lands on Monday dealt a serious blow to Ambre Energy's proposed coal terminal, denying a key permit needed for a project to export 8.8 million tons of coal annually to Asia.
Here are five things you need to know about the decision and what happens next.


Bad news for the coal industry — Oregon just blocked plans for exports to Asia

via Vox

The coal industry got some bad news on Monday night: Oregon officials have rejected a permit for a terminal that would export 8.8 million tons of coal each year to Asia.
Why is that a big deal? The fight over US coal exports has become one of the major environmental battles in recent years. Coal use is on the decline in the United States, thanks to both a glut of natural gas from fracking and a spate of new air-pollution regulations. So US mining companies are looking to ship more coal abroad, particularly to Asia.

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