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Opinion >  Letters

Inslee right on oil trains

I’m writing about the July 19 article telling of the dangers facing Spokane as oil trains carrying highly flammable Bakken crude move through our city every day. I appreciate your article, which includes several of the possible disastrous consequences of a derailment and explosion of one of those trains going through downtown Spokane.

The article stated that Brian Schaeffer, Spokane’s assistant fire chief, said in Olympia last week that “statistically … it’s an eventuality that we’re going to have a derailment” if the oil terminal in Vancouver, Washington is approved.

Even without that terminal, we still could have a derailment and explosion. Imagine if it were to occur north of Sacred Heart Hospital, or close to Lewis & Clark High School with Deaconess Hospital nearby. Imagine trying to protect all those people.

I’m glad to read in the July 11 Seattle Times an Associated Press story that “Gov. Jay Inslee wants federal regulators to issue an emergency order requiring safety inspectors to physically walk the rail lines in the hours before Bakken crude oil is transported.”

We can thank our governor for working to take this matter seriously. And remember, Spokane is not the only Washington city involved.

Pauline Druffel


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