Category Archives: oil trains

my next civil disobedience…

The next civil disobedience I will participate in will  be in the Pacific Northwest either at Vancouver or Longmont, Washington.

These two areas are prime candidates for development of deep sea ports and sizeable increases of rail-yard volume to accommodate oil and coal rail cars from the Bakken fields of North Dakota and beyond (think Alberta tar sands). More pipelines are already being built unbeknown to most people, skirting around any opposition silently underground.

The little town of Mosier, Oregon experienced a close call oil derailment not too long ago.  On a Friday in early June, more than 40,000 gallons of Bakken crude spilled in a fiery oil train derailment that burned for 14 hours. Jerry Oliver is a port commissioner in Vancouver, Wash., and a vocal supporter of what would be the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the country, known as the Vancouver Energy Project.  If built, the terminal would more than double the number of mile-long oil trains traveling along the Columbia River, to about 46 trains per week.

The Mosier derailment has led the Oregon Department of Transportation torequest the federal government issue a moratorium on oil trains in the Gorge and elsewhere throughout the state.

Protests have already started, and are sure to get bigger.   More than 100 protesters blocked BNSF Railway tracks in Vancouver, Washington, on Saturday, June 18, 2016, to protest oil train activity in the Northwest. Police arrested 21 people who refused to vacate the tracks as they protested oil train activity in the Pacific Northwest.

————————————————————————————-The current volume of oil & coal being shipped is staggering, and there’s a lot more profits to be made by increasing this volume. Is this a good thing? Is it good to keep supplying our addiction to gasoline and to keep prices down?

We are all enjoying cheaper prices at the pump. But at what price? Are we leveraging our grandkids’ future for instant gratification today (cheaper prices)?

There may be some short term pain at the pumps, but the sooner we start paying the real price of climate change fossil fuels, the sooner electric/hydrogen cars and more renewable technologies will be sprouted and competitive.

Since our systems looks mostly at short term returns and risks, oil trains are once again coming front and center.

The Quebec derailment and tragedy is a distant (3 year)
memory. 42+ people were killed… here’s the wikipedia link.  

Do we really need to wait until we have a similar disaster before we act?  I think not!  And I’ll be doing my small part by helping block the tracks… join me if you dare.