Before our House of Representatives is a bill, HR-3040, that would mandate that two people, one engineer and one conductor, be on a train. This bill lacks co-sponsors and needs the support of more representatives. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has not endorsed this legislation. By not supporting it, she is sending the message that she cares more about the greed of a corporation over the safety of her constituents.
Right now, BNSF Railways has negotiated a contract to remove the conductor from its trains. If this contract goes into effect, it would leave only one person on a 110-car train carrying crude oil. Let’s all hope that nothing goes wrong! Hundreds of jobs would also be lost.
We don’t want to have what happened in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada, where 47 people died, to happen here. With more and more oil and coal trains running through here each day, safety should be a higher priority for McMorris Rodgers.
In her campaign television ads, she states that she cares for the people of Eastern Washington. If that were true, she would endorse and co-sponsor HR-3040 to protect Eastern Washington from a catastrophic disaster.