Friday, October 2, 2015

Videos show disputed oil trains rolling by stadiums during games

Videos show disputed oil trains rolling by stadiums during games

By Jeff Burnside   Oct 1, 2015

SEATTLE -- There were nearly 70,000 fans at CenturyLink Field for the Seahawks game last Sunday, and they will be there again on Monday night.

That makes some people anxious. It's not about what's happening inside the stadium, but just outside. Several times each day, mile-long oil trains full of highly flammable crude oil roll past CenturyLink and Safeco Fields without regard to whether there is an event underway.

In the oil trains' 1,600-mile journey from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to the Washington coast, it is by far the densest population squeeze.

Oil trains have derailed and exploded 10 times in North America during one recent two-year period. The U.S. Department of Transportation said in a July 2014 analysis that it expects an increasing number of oil train derailments in coming years.

The city of Seattle has asked BNSF to stop. The railroad has not agreed to do so. There's no law against it. Critics of oil trains say, in the event of an unthinkable disaster, it is a "worst case scenario."

"We have incredible risk being foisted on the public with no accountability whatsoever. And that's something that needs to change," said Matt Krogh of Forest Ethics, one of a number of activist groups opposing oil trains.

BNSF Railroad Spokesperson Gus Melonas said the trains are safe and the railroad shouldn't have to stop. .....  continued here

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