Monday, October 27, 2014

Newspaper Editorials Begin to Speak Out Against Crude-By-Rail


Editorial: The real crazy train: moving Bakken crude by rail

SF Chronicle Editorial Board      Sunday, October 26, 2014 
GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari likes to deride Gov. Jerry Brown’s high-speed rail plan as the Crazy Train, but the loonier rail proposal is the one that would carry explosive Bakken crude 1,000 miles across the country to the Valero refinery in Benicia and other California refiners. Californians must have more assurances of safe rail operation before Valero’s oil-transfer-terminal plans proceed......

....Community concerns include environmental risks but center on public safety because Bakken oil is more volatile than most other crudes. A derailed tanker train loaded with Bakken crude exploded in July 2013, killing 47 people in Canada and alerting transportation officials and the public to the real hazards of transporting this easily ignited oil. For Benicians, potentially explosive trains are no theoretical debate as two 50-car trains would pass daily through the north end of town......
read more here

The News Tribune  By Ryan Mello and Dow Constantine  October 24, 2014  
As this editorial page has noted, Washington has seen a stunning increase in the amount of Bakken crude oil transported on our railroads, to an estimated 2.87 billion gallons each year. Much of that highly flammable oil rolls across the central Puget Sound region, through downtown Tacoma and past Steilacoom in aging tank cars.

The surge in train traffic has created an unprecedented risk to our people, our economy, our traffic and our environment. Our communities assume all of the risks while big oil companies get all of the rewards.

There’s the immediate risk to public safety when flammable fuel passes through heavily populated areas like Tacoma and Seattle and past our neighborhoods, schools and parks. Since July 2013, there have been nine serious train derailments across North America – more than we experienced during the past four decades combined. An oil-train explosion last year in Quebec, Canada, killed 47 people and wiped out half a downtown area.

There’s also the increased risk of oil spills contaminating Puget Sound and undermining the progress we’ve made in waterfront development and cleaning up the Foss Waterway. It’s a scenario we saw earlier this year when an oil train spilled more than 20,000 gallons of crude oil into the James River just outside Lynchburg, Virginia..... read more here

1 comment:

  1. When I see the adds lauding Grays Harbor as a beautiful tourist spot...come to Grays Harbor to play, I can't help but think of those proposed 110 crude oil trains coming to our Port and exporting 2.7 billion gallons of crude by barge and tankers. That is the other part of the insane story-- crude by rail and coal by rail planned for export to Asia from our coastal ports. How does that fit into the tourism plan? When the disaster spills into our waters we are sunk along with the crude oil which is sunk to the bottom--and cannot be cleaned up no matter what the Dept. of Ecology tell us with their mitigation. I am so sick of that word--that buzz word which means absolutely nothing can be done to save us in Washington State. Empty words.