#StopOilTrains Week of Action, Environmental Caucus Blog

Rail cars burn near the Columbia River Gorge after a 100-car train derailed near the town of Mosier, Ore., June 3, 2016. Responders from federal, state, and local agencies are monitoring the situation and responding to all possible hazardous materiel pollution threats. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.
Rail cars burn near the Columbia River Gorge after a 100-car train derailed near the town of Mosier, Ore., June 3, 2016. Responders from federal, state, and local agencies are monitoring the situation and responding to all possible hazardous materiel pollution threats. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.

#StopOilTrains Week of Action, July 6-12

By: Ethan Fetz, New YDWA Environmental Caucus Chair

July 6, 2016

Today marks the three-year anniversary of when a volatile oil train derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Québec, incinerating the town center and killing nearly 50 people. This type of explosion remains a very real threat in cities and towns throughout Washington state, as we saw just last month with the close-to-home oil train derailment and explosion along the Columbia Gorge near Mosier, Oregon, and a prior derailment in 2014 under the Magnolia bridge in Seattle.

Despite the recent explosion – which occurred unsettlingly close to a nearby elementary school – Union Pacific is right back at it running trains along the same lines, and Big Oil is pushing to expand infrastructure to extract and transport even more crude oil through the state.

Take a stand this week during the July 6-12 Stop Oil Trains Week of Action to stand up to Big Oil and demand a ban on oil by rail! Upcoming events will be held in Bellingham, Hoquiam, Burlington, Chehalis, and Seattle:

  • July 6: Candlelight Vigil for Lac Megantic – Bellingham, WA
  • July 8: Shared Waters, Shared Values march and rally – Hoquiam, WA
  • July 9: 100th Birthday Party for Skagit River Railroad Bridge – Burlington, WA
  • July 9: Safe Rails Chehalis When We #StopOilTrains! – Chehalis, WA
  • July 12: More Beer, Less Oil – Seattle, WA
  • July 12: Stop Oil Trains in Whatcom County – Bellingham, WA

More details here.

In the three years since the Quebec explosion, there has been more damage done by oil trains than the previous four decades combined, causing irreparable environmental damage and loss of life. Unless we make our voices heard, this risk to our families, communities, land and waterways will only grow. #StopOilTrains!

Photo credit: Coast Guard News, Flickr Creative Commons License