Gov Inslee speaks about Oil Trains through Wa. State


Welcome to the party Governor.



Citing rail safety concerns, Inslee issues directive to increase oil safety, spill prevention and response efforts in Washington

In response to rapid changes in how crude oil is shipped through the Pacific Northwest, Gov. Jay Inslee today issued a directive<; to state agencies to increase the state’s oil spill prevention and response efforts.

Washington has made significant progress in preventing and responding to tanker oil spills on Washington’s waterways and is recognized for its rigorous standards and highly effective response program. But Inslee says much more work remains to address projected increases in vessel traffic as well as risks associated with increased rail traffic.

“In any discussion about increased movement of crude oil through Washington, the safety of Washingtonians is without question my top concern,” Inslee said. “I want to know how much oil will be shipped through my state and how we can be assured the kind of tragedy that happened in Quebec won’t devastate families in our communities. The federal government plays a significant role in regulating these trains, but we as a state can and will do more to make sure we’re protecting our cities and residents.”

Since 2008, rail shipments of crude oil have increased more than 40-fold nationwide, and major accidents have occurred over the past year in both the United States and Canada.

Inslee’s directive charges the state Department of Ecology, Department of Transportation, Utilities and Transportation Commission and Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division to conduct a thorough risk analysis along rail lines, assess the risk of crude from North Dakota’s Bakken shale region relative to other forms of crude, begin developing spill response plans for affected counties and identify potential ways to coordinate with neighboring states and British Columbia.

Ecology will submit its findings by October 1 along with budget recommendations for funding improved safety and spill response needs related to transport of oil by rail.

“The people of Washington are rightfully demanding answers about how their safety will be protected as more oil trains roll through their city or town,” Inslee said. “This directive is about gathering the information we need to effectively protect the health and safety of our people and our environment.”

5 thoughts on “Gov Inslee speaks about Oil Trains through Wa. State

  1. Looks like the governor feels a need to spend taxpayer money to protect us from something we don’t want or need and which the Port of Grays Harbor could stop.
    Where do I sign a petition? Let me know. crVancouverUSA at gmail dot com

    ED NOTE: I’m just happy he seems to suddenly be aware. Lets see if it is all talk. Ie requiring these train companies via the port to REQUIRE a clean up bond in place to protect us from the company going bankrupt the next day….as has happened. Anything else is just talk.

  2. Tom- your link to the Directive doesn’t work, and I can’t find another one either. Please fix?

    Meanwhile WA taxpayers should seriously wonder why Inslee thinks we should be on the hook for clean-up costs? With $Billions at risk, this is a no-brainer- –> Moratorium!


    ED NOTE: Claudia, this is the meat of the letter sans headers that I received a copy of. I should warn everyone, this is how the game is played. I wouldn’t look for an “official” directive. Right now, I suspect, it is to calm down the storm of his own voters who put him in office calling for him to so something….anything. This is what officials do. As I said earlier, talk is cheap. Lets see some action. The email was sent from the Gov. Office. Call me jaded, but la deeeee da. Telling his Dept. of Ecol. to look into it? Give me a break. They have been going to the meetings. Again, I suspect…it was issued to calm down those on the left who voted for him in the first place. Well, are you calm now?

  3. I’m not happy with the governor’s less than genuine and more than calculated directive–no big surprize. His directive to DOE means they should wisely spend that $300.000 he gave them to pull together a response plan that looks good on paper. At the expense of the state? We know that trick. How bizarre is it to think the money in our state should go to such things as planning for an oil spill–when our education system is failing. Is it merely a coincidence that this directive was issued while the railroad, including BNSF and PSAP were down at Grays Harbor, assuring our Port Commissioners of the real 99.99% safe delivery of their cargo. Oil, not grain, I presume. Did that include these proposed volumes of crude oil. Wonder if those statistics were compiled b.e (before explosions): Lac Megantic, Quebec, Alabama, North Dakota. Doest though thinkest they citizens dimwitted on matters of clean energy, Governor? In this battle between Big Oil and Citizens of Grays Harbor, how has the governor helped level the playing field? He hasn’t.

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