Oil Trains

Michael Werner / EarthFix

A Puget Sound tribe filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court to stop oil trains from traveling through its reservation north of Seattle.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway’s train tracks cross the top of the Swinomish Reservation in Skagit County. In recent years they’ve been used to move oil from North Dakota to two refineries in Anacortes.

In 1990 BNSF and the Swinomish reached a settlement that required the railroad to regularly update the tribe on the type of cargo moving through the reservation. It also limited traffic to two 25-car trains per day.

Northwest Officials Unite Against Coal And Oil Trains

Mar 4, 2015
U.S. Department of Transportation

More than 150 elected officials from across the Northwest have teamed up to speak out against coal and oil trains. Their new group, the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance, held its third meeting in Portland Tuesday.

Washington’s King County Executive Dow Constantine has stepped up to chair the group. It includes officials from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia.

Tony Schick / EarthFix

This week’s fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia has lawmakers thinking about oil-by-rail safety through the Northwest. There has been a dramatic increase in oil trains traveling through the region to reach West coast refineries.

U.S. Department of Transportation / Northwest News Network

Washington’s rail safety regulator says there are about 3,000 rail crossings in the state that inspectors have never looked at. That's because they're on private land. And experts say these could be problem areas as more trains carry crude oil through the state. They plan to ask the legislature for more authority.

A state study on oil transport through Washington finds that the amount of crude oil shipped from North Dakota could triple in the next five years. In two decades, more than 16 trains carrying oil could cross the state every day.

Michael Berry / Flickr

Gov. Jay Inslee says more needs to be done to prevent and respond to oil spills, as more trains move volatile shipments of crude oil through Washington state.

The governor received initial findings from a state study today , looking into the safety and environmental risks of oil transport.

Inslee called the report "sobering".

Katie Campbell / EarthFix

More oil trains traveling along the Columbia River and Puget Sound mean an increased risk for oil spills. Conservation groups worry methods to clean up those spills could harm sensitive wildlife.

Oregon Approves Subsidy For Oil Transport, Not Coal

Aug 22, 2014
McD22 / Flickr

The Oregon Transportation Commission voted Friday to deny funding for controversial coal exports but approved subsidies that will allow more oil trains to travel along the Columbia River.

Oregon Report Identifies Gaps In Oil Train Safety

Jul 28, 2014
Tony Schick / EarthFix

Several mile-long oil trains cross through the state of Oregon every week carrying volatile oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields. A new report released today Friday identifies gaps in Oregon's ability to handle the safety risks. For EarthFix, Cassandra Profita reports.

New Safety Rules Proposed To Curb Oil Train Fires

Jul 23, 2014
Paul Sullivan / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a comprehensive set of rules Wednesday in response to fiery crashes involving trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota.

Hugh Llewelyn / Flickr

A new poll shows the majority of Northwest residents support oil transportation by rail and don't think the safety and environmental risks are too high.

Pages