I take issue with the Dec. 7 op-ed writers’ anti-rail, anti-domestic-energy position and alleged pro-environment stand.
How soon we forget the days when most of the country’s energy was imported! Today, all but a tiny fraction of our transportation system – land, air and sea – still depends entirely on fossil fuels. Given that meaningful alternatives are in the distant future, it seems a no-brainer to fully utilize domestic oil rather than continue importing volatile Mideast crude.
As to safety, the authors used inflammatory language (“explosive Bakken oil”) while ignoring the more dangerous jet fuel and gasoline being transported on interstate highways, as well as on local city streets!
I suggest a careful examination of the hazmat labels on tanker trucks (learn the code) might cause much greater alarm, but evidently the authors do not consume energy (i.e., they never drive a car or fly). If they have a hybrid or electric vehicle, these too consume lots of energy in production and operation.
As to rail traffic through Spokane, too bad the Milwaukee Road, a transcontinental railroad whose freight main line bypassed Spokane, was torn up. Rehabilitated, it would have been a sensible alternative to the Spokane BNSF route.