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Protesters stall an oil train for hours at Anacortes

An act of civil disobedience on the refinery tracks brings three arrests.

(Page 2 of 2)

Klapstein said, “While this kind of resistance may seem extreme, these are extreme times and the resistance to this craziness won't stop with us.”

A fast-growing Fortune 100 company, Tesoro has announced plans to build and operate a massive shipping facility on the Columbia River. The Vancouver Energy Distribution Terminal would handle up to 360,000 barrels of crude per day, according to a Sightline Institute report, transferring petroleum from mile-long trains onto oil tankers and other vessels that would ship the oil to refineries in the United States and, possibly, overseas. The exports are currently forbidden under U.S. law, but Congress is under intense industry lobbying to lift the ban.

Railroads and the oil industry say that Bakken field oil is no more dangerous than other oil and that they are taking major steps to improve the safety of tank cars. They say their current operations are conducted safely.

Earlier this month the Washington State Firefighters called on Gov. Jay Inslee to halt oil train traffic until a “determination that this crude by rail can be moved safely through our cities and rural areas.” In January the National Transportation Safety Board issued an unprecedented call for tougher standards recommending that oil trains avoid populated and sensitive areas. 

Martha Baskin is an environmental reporter, whose work on the subject began with a project for the King Conservation District. Green Acre Radio was born shortly afterward. Her work is currently supported by the Human Links Foundation. She was one of the founding reporters for Pacifica's Free Speech Radio News and has been a contributor to the National Radio Project's Making Contact.


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Comments:

Posted Mon, Jul 28, 10:13 p.m. Inappropriate

100,000 people die? Why the hyperbole? When Dresden was burned to the ground, 25,000 people died. A whole city was destroyed. When Hiroshima was destroyed, 80,000 people were killed in the immediate blast. Hiroshima being one of the most densely populated cities of that era.

An oil train derailing and spilling is bad enough, hyperbole lessens the impact and lessens the gravity of the issue. I understand wild numbers gets the attention of writers, but please, do not fall into that trap. Again, an oil spill is a serious disaster without all the hysteria and hyperbole.

Posted Tue, Jul 29, 10:29 a.m. Inappropriate

"100,000 people die? Why the hyperbole?"

It's hard to think straight when you're hyperventilating.

Simon

Posted Tue, Jul 29, 8:40 a.m. Inappropriate

How did the protesters from Seattle get all the way up to Anacortes -- walk? Ride their bikes? Not likely. Ours is a petroleum fueled economy and will continue to be for decades. Of course regulators, communities, the railroads and oil companies need to do everything possible to increase safety of crude shipments by rail, and steps are being taken to just that.

But the dependency on oil will continue, and it will come either from domestic sources to help make the US less dependent on foreign oil, or it will come from places like Russia, Venezuela and the Middle East -- you know, places we can count on to have our best interests at heart.

Posted Tue, Jul 29, 10:24 a.m. Inappropriate

NO OIL! NO GAS! NO NUKE! NO PIPELINES! NO TRAINS! NO NUTHIN'!

Good luck powering modern industrial and technology driven economy fellas.

Simon

Posted Tue, Jul 29, 5:37 p.m. Inappropriate

If the oil train that recently jumped the tracks in Magnolia had been just a mile or so south of there it would have been in the railroad tunnel under downtown, where the Fire Department has pointed out that it would be impossible for emergency traffic to access, much less suck up oil, extinguish a fire or prevent an explosion, or do anything at all useful.

Posted Wed, Jul 30, 11:58 p.m. Inappropriate

Unfortunately, the train stopped.

NotFan

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