Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WA Senator Ericksen proposes freebies for Oil Industry- and other news

WA Senator Ericksen proposes freebies for Oil Industry

Senator Ericksen has introduced SB 5057- a bill that is very weak on public disclosure, ignores protecting Washington’s waterways, and  lets the oil industry off the hook from being financially responsible for an oil spill or accident, and calls for more studies!

Text of this bill can be found here

A Committee hearing in his Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications committee will be on 1/15/2015, 1:30 p.m. Senate Hearing Room 4, JA Cherberg Building. 

IF you are in OLYMPIA on Thursday, please come to the hearing to sign in as OPPOSED.
Gov. Inslee supports a different billSB 5087  which will require full financial responsibility; it will come later.

Ask your state senator to push Erickson to allow Inslee's bill to be discussed in his committee!

update: see comparisons between the bills below the fold (under the links)-->

Todays links:

NTSB adds railroad tank car safety to ‘Most Wanted’ list 

Kentucky's Newest Underground Fire Burning In Berea 

Berea residents say not enough is being done to combat an underground oil shale fire which has blanketed the area with the thick smell of sulfur.

Hazmat team sent to train derailment near Thunder Bay     22 rail cars left the CPR track east of Nipigon, several of the derailed cars contain propane and crude oil

San Jose City Council Unanimously Votes to Oppose Central Coast Oil Train Project

Paulsboro train derailment first responders experienced negative health effects, CDC report says

Bill Comparison Information…   
                                h/t Laura Ackerman

Community right to know –
·         Governor’s bill SB5087  expands current information to require that the volume, type, place of origin, mode of transportation, route, number of rail cars, and volume and number of oil spills en route be aggregated and posted quarterly to Ecology’s website.
·         Ericksen’s bill SB5057 has no disclosure or public information provision

Oil spill prevention –
·         Governor’s bill directs rulemaking in Puget Sound to regulate oil-carrying barges in the same way as oil tankers. Right now, oil tankers are required to have a tug escort. Also, the bill expands tug escort authority for Grays Harbor and the Columbia River (but no requirement).
·         Ericksen’s bill does not address this.  

Grants to Local Governments –
·         Governor’s bill doesn’t address this b/c grant approach is already available. Governor did put in his overall budget $4.6 m for equipment for local governments and first responders.
·         Ericksen’s bill requires Ecology to work with a select group to determine need for equipment caching but that list doesn’t include tribes, federal regulators, or local governments. Grant program is $10 m from MTCA.

Financial Responsibility –
·         Governor’s bill expands financial responsibility requirements to include rail and that carriers of oil must demonstrate they have enough money/insurance coverage to cover worst case spill.
·         Ericksen’s bill does not include financial responsibility

Utility and Transportation Commission –
·         Governor’s bill allows the UTC to inspect rail segments that run through private property
·         Ericksen’s bill allows ‘first class cities’ the ability to voluntarily participate in UTC’s crossing inspection program.

Planning –
·         Governor’s bill does not address planning because it is already covered in existing law. The one piece that is included in the Governor’s bill is an update to the definition of ‘facility’ to include rail cars so that they are required to develop spill contingency plans.
·         Ericksen’s bill requires the review of ‘geographic response plans’ by the legislature, requires that at least 50% of GRPs to be done by independent contractors and not  Ecology, requires that Ecology and UTC hold a symposium on international transport of oil, and requires local emergency management entities to develop hazardous material plans.

Barrel Tax:
·         Governor’s bill expands and broadens the barrel tax to include rail and to go from 4 cents to 10 cents.
·         Ericksen’s bill expands the barrel tax to include rail.


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