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Wednesday, February 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: oil trains

Shawn Vestal: New safety standards for oil trains are needed to prevent tragedy

Washington’s new law to establish safer standards on the highly flammable oil trains that pass regularly through Spokane – past hospitals, a high school, a freeway – is likely headed …

North Dakota, Washington state at odds over oil train rules

North Dakota officials are pressuring Washington’s governor to veto legislation requiring oil shipped by rail to have more of its volatile gases removed.

UPDATED: Mon., March 4, 2019

Bill would set lower pressure standards for trains carrying oil

Trains carrying crude oil through Spokane and the rest of the state to Washington refineries would have to keep it under lower pressure under a bill supporters say will reduce …

Spokane influence played out in recommendation against Vancouver Energy Terminal

Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to reject a permit for a massive oil-by-rail terminal along the Columbia River was influenced by local residents’ worries about the potential for an oil train …

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 7, 2017

Trump administration rolls back Obama-era oil train rules

The Trump administration is angering environmental groups and residents of the Columbia River Gorge by rolling back a 2015 rule on oil train safety.

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 22, 2017

Washington state panel outlines risk of oil-by-rail terminal

A major oil-by-rail terminal proposed on the Columbia River in Washington state poses a potential risk of oil spills, train accidents and longer emergency response times due to road traffic, …

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 16, 2017

Oil, coal train fines in Spokane go to voters with legal path unclear

On the question of whether Spokane can – or should – fine the owners of rail cars transporting certain crude oil and coal through downtown, both sides say they’re on …

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 16, 2017

Supporters of coal, oil train fine initiative accused of violating Washington campaign finance laws

The group Safer Spokane has been hit with a complaint alleging yearlong violations of the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws for failing to file fiscal reports as required by law. …

Guest Opinion: Pro: Proposition 2 empowers the people, not oil and coal corporations

Proposition 2 is about truth, justice and protecting our community. It’s about whether “We the People” control our own governance, or concede it to the money and power of the …

Guest Opinion: Con: Proposition 2 is illegal, won’t make city safer

The fact remains: Trains are the safest, most environmentally friendly and most cost-effective means of moving coal and oil.

Spokane recruits for committees address oil train, ‘sanctuary city’ ballot measures

Spokane lawmakers are looking for 12 people to serve on committees that will draft statements supporting and opposing the two ballot questions scheduled to be decided on this year’s ballot. …

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 17, 2017

Battle lines drawn in political fight over coal, oil train fines in downtown Spokane

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich repeated his promise Thursday to seek a legal injunction if the measure on the November ballot passes, and said he’s in talks with railroads about joining him. …

UPDATED: Tue., July 25, 2017

Fines for downtown Spokane coal, oil train traffic head to voters with promise of political fight

Spokane voters can expect a passionate political fight over a proposal to fine coal and oil trains passing through downtown after the City Council sent the question to the November …

UPDATED: Mon., July 17, 2017

Federal judge tosses suit by Raging Grannies seeking to ban coal and oil trains through Spokane

The “Raging Grannies” attempts to stop coal and oil trains through Spokane just got derailed again.

UPDATED: Wed., July 12, 2017

Fines for coal, oil trains in downtown Spokane likely headed for ballot amid legal concerns

The Spokane County Elections Office confirmed Wednesday a measure proposing fines on certain coal and oil trains traveling through downtown had enough valid signatures to be put to voters in …

UPDATED: Wed., July 12, 2017

Lawsuit seeking coal and oil train ban in downtown Spokane gets hearing

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice expressed skepticism Wednesday about the legal argument used by climate activists seeking to push a ban on coal and oil trains through downtown.

UPDATED: Mon., June 26, 2017

Initiatives on oil trains, pot sales near churches in Spokane move closer to ballot

The city clerk’s office will review thousands of signatures on the two petitions, gathered in advance of the November ballot. Opponents of the proposal to fine coal and oil trains …

UPDATED: Wed., April 5, 2017

Thousands of defects found on oil train routes

When a freight train derailed in the Montana town of Culbertson, spilling 27,000 gallons of crude oil, investigators blamed the 2015 accident on defective or missing fasteners used to hold …

Whatcom County extends moratorium on crude oil exports

The Whatcom County Council has extended for six months a moratorium on shipments of unrefined fossil fuels out of the Cherry Point area.

Track inspectors on front lines of safe shipment of crude oil, state says

Since trains began hauling flammable crude oil from the Northern Plains to Western Washington ports and refineries, state and local attention to rail infrastructure has increased. Track inspectors are on …

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 1, 2017

Oil, coal train protesters in Spokane file federal lawsuit claiming climate change protections

Citing the climate-damaging effects of coal and oil, a group of protesters who were arrested protesting in Spokane last year have filed a federal lawsuit declaring federal control of rail …

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 19, 2017

Oil trains moved 14 million barrels of crude through Washington in fourth quarter

Oil trains transported about 14 million barrels of crude through Washington during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Millwood rail crossing on oil train route will get safety improvements

A Union Pacific rail crossing used by oil trains through Millwood is targeted for more than $450,000 in safety improvements.

Railroads keep most bridge inspection data secret

With railroad bridges carrying oil, coal and hazardous cargo through cities and towns, local officials are asking whether the structures are safe, but can’t get much information.

State making headway on rail safety

A couple of recent developments show that Washington state is doing what it can to ensure safer passage and to develop an emergency response strategy.

Three ‘Raging Grannies’ arrested for blocking oil and coal trains

About 20 protestors are blocking rail lines on Trent Avenue to protest the movement of oil and coal trains through Spokane.

New oil train rule will give emergency responders advance notice of shipments

Emergency responders in Spokane and other Washington communities along oil train routes will start getting advance notice of shipments on Oct. 1.

Beggs, Kinnear want BNSF to join push for stricter train safety standards

If BNSF does not agree to lobby state and federal decision-makers to assist the City Council in beefing up security standards for Bakken crude and coal on trains running through …

City Council removes controversial oil and coal train fines from ballot

Voters will not get to weigh in on the trains moving coal and oil through downtown Spokane, as the City Council reversed course and removed the question from the November …

Whatcom County puts 60-day moratorium on permits for new crude oil export facilities

The Whatcom County Council has temporarily banned new permit applications for projects that ship crude oil and other unrefined fossil fuels out of Cherry Point.