Tag Archives: Washington

New rules about shipping oil by rail – compliance issues

[Editor: All across the U.S., media reports are focusing on how the States are responding to the new Federal rules on disclosure of crude by rail shipments.   Some states are making these disclosures available to the public, and some are withholding the reports.  Here is a sampling of the articles Mr. Google found today….  – RS]

Oil trains moving frequently through Wisconsin

The Sheboygan Press-52 minutes ago
More than three dozen trains carrying volatile crude oil move through Wisconsin each week from the Northern Plains, disclosures from railroads show.

Tracking crude oil: New rules about shipping oil by rail in Iowa

kwwl.com-1 hour ago
It’s explosive, and millions of gallons move through eastern Iowa each month. This week, KWWL learned where crude oil is shipped in large amounts as …

Louisiana refuses to disclose oil train records

The Times-Picayune-by Bob Warren-21 hours ago
6, 2013, file photo, a BNSF Railway train hauls crude oil near Wolf Point, Mont. … Louisiana officials are refusing to disclose the details of crude oil shipments …

Nebraska refuses to disclose oil train records

Lincoln Journal Star-2 hours ago

BNSF reports drop in Washington oil train shipments

The Columbian-22 hours ago
BNSF Railway previously reported as many as 19 trains of Bakken crude oil traversed the state during the week of May 29 to June 4. They updated those …

Oil train records show what Oregon tried to hide

Yakima Herald-Republic-9 hours ago
The records, which show how much crude oil from the Northern Rockies was carried by train car through Oregon, were released Thursday. Media outlets …

Vancouver City Council urged to oppose Tesoro oil terminal

Repost rom The Columbian
[Editor: The resolution is expected to pass.  – RS]

In Our View: Stopping the Oil Terminal

Vancouver City Council should formally adopt its opposition to proposed project

May 19, 2014

After months of limbering up, members of the Vancouver City Council have taken a swing at a proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver — and smacked one out of the park. Councilors have prepared a draft resolution weighing in on the deal reached last year between port officials and Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies. They have opposed the proposal in no uncertain terms and have urged government entities that have a say in the matter to rule against it.

The draft resolution will be discussed by the council during a workshop Monday and will receive a public hearing on June 2; council members are expected to vote on the resolution June 16. And while the city has no official decision-making capacity regarding the oil terminal — which would handle up to 380,000 barrels of crude oil per day, arriving by train from the Bakken formation in North Dakota — it has effectively distilled the arguments against the idea. Among the items included in the resolution’s 37 “whereas” statements:

• “Human error, acts of nature and unforeseen disasters are beyond the control of measures proposed for the Vancouver oil terminal project and could have devastating effects on the entire community.”

• There have been several well-documented derailments and explosions of trains carrying Bakken crude, including one in Quebec that killed 47 people.

• The city has invested heavily in a proposed Columbia Waterfront Development, a $1.3 billion project that would result in commercial, residential, and recreational outlets along the banks of the Columbia River — just upriver from the terminal site and in the shadow of the rail tracks used by oil trains.

Each of these is an important aspect deserving of consideration, but the most valid argument from city officials is this: “Whereas the City has a paramount interest in the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and believes that the development of the proposed Tesoro Savage crude by rail oil terminal is contrary to the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and business community.”

These talking points have been presented previously by some on the city council and by many members of the public. But formal adoption of the resolution by council members (four of the seven members have expressed opposition to the terminal) would go a long way toward stopping it in its tracks. The state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council is reviewing the proposal and will make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who will have the final say regarding approval. The city council’s resolution urges both EFSEC and the governor to decline certification of the terminal, and it also urges federal and state lawmakers to tighten regulations regarding the transportation of crude oil.

Most intriguingly, council members request that the Port of Vancouver terminate its lease with Tesoro and Savage. The ability of port officials to do that remains open to interpretation — in part because the lease released to The Columbian under a public-records request contains heavily redacted portions. It is difficult to assess the legal obligations of the port under such a veil of secrecy, which is another reason to question the terminal proposal. If Tesoro and Savage cannot trust the public to know the details, it’s unlikely the public will trust the companies to act in the best interest of the community.

The reasons for opposing the oil terminal are sound and well-considered, having undergone months of scrutiny and discussion. The Vancouver City Council would be wise to formally adopt its opposition.

Changes in fossil fuel transport – maps of the Pacific Northwest

Repost from The Seattle Times
[Editor: Regarding CUMULATIVE IMPACTS, we in the San Francisco Bay Area need to learn from the Pacific Northwest.  Their maps are excellent – check out this great resource.  Who among us can work on this?  It seems to me that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District should be held responsible to prepare maps like this as soon as possible.  – RS]

Fossil fuels and spill risk: A changing landscape

By Seattle Times staff  |  April 19, 2014

Washington has long been a fossil fuel depot. But changes in how and where we get our oil — and the addition of proposals to export coal — are increasing the risk of spills and major accidents. Here is how fossil fuel distribution is changing.

(The maps and charts below are formatted as a single PNG IMAGE. Click on the image for a full-size readable version.)
fossil fuels and spill risk-A changing landscape(pacificnorthwest)
The maps and charts above are formatted as a single PNG IMAGE. Click on the image for a full-size readable version.

Excellent source of news about crude by rail in the Pacific Northwest

Sightline Daily, News & Views for a Sustainable Northwest

Sightline Series

The Northwest’s Pipeline on Rails

Westbound oil train, Essex, MT. Photo credit Roy Luck.

Westbound oil train, Essex, MT. Photo credit Roy Luck.

Since 2012, nearly a dozen plans have emerged to ship large quantities of crude oil by train to Northwest refineries and port terminals. This would be a major change for the Northwest’s energy economy, yet so far, the proposals have largely escaped notice. This series begins with a report that is the first comprehensive, region-wide review of all the oil-by-rail projects planned or currently operating in the Pacific Northwest, and it proceeds with updates on and analysis of their development.

For analysis of the traffic impacts of oil and coal trains in communities throughout the Northwest, see the series “The Wrong Side of the Tracks.”


Posts on The Northwest’s Pipeline on Rails

22. Running “Off the Rails”

ForestEthics’ new report on the Northwest fossil fuel blow-up.
on March 13, 2014 at 9:35 am

21. The Man Behind the Exploding Trains

  Pulling back the curtain on Warren Buffett’s role.
  and on March 4, 2014 at 10:30 am

20. The Growth in Oil-By-Rail in One Picture

  Railroads now move 57 times more oil on trains than just a few years ago.
on February 24, 2014 at 6:30 am

19. Updated Oil-by-Rail Analysis

  Sightline has a new accounting of Northwest oil train projects.
on February 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm

18. No Margin for Error

  DOT-111 tanks cars are unsafe at any speed.
  and on February 12, 2014 at 6:30 am

17. Video: How Oil Trains Put the Northwest At Risk

  Sightline featured in new video on oil trains.
on February 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

16. CARTOON: How Communities See Oil Trains

  Oglala-Lakota artist on Bakken oil trains and risk.
on January 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm

15. Why Bakken Oil Explodes

  The perils of a particular petroleum, explained.
  and on January 21, 2014 at 10:30 am

14. Another Oil Train Blows Up, Because That’s What They Do

  Major fire in New Brunswick after derailment.
on January 8, 2014 at 9:10 am

13. Oil Trains: What You Should Be Reading

  Understanding why oil trains are a threat.
on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 am