Take Action: Advocacy Campaign

Western State Governors CAN Stop Oil Trains

In the wake of a devastating oil train derailment and explosion in Mosier, Oregon, Washington state firefighters have joined the call to stop oil train traffic. Now, we’re calling on Western state governors to stand with them.

Join us in telling WA Governor Jay Inslee, OR Governor Kate Brown, and CA Governor Jerry Brown: Enough is enough. We need real action to stop oil trains.

The West coast is now ground zero for the fight against fossil fuels; with the ban on exporting crude oil lifted, oil companies are in a mad dash to build new infrastructure to ship their products overseas. If we can stop oil train traffic through Washington, Oregon, and California, we can put a major crimp in Big Oil’s plans.

After sustained pressure, Gov. Inslee has already taken some steps toward acting: he asked Union Pacific to voluntarily stop oil train traffic through Washington until they can prove their tracks are safe. Union Pacific, of course, declined. That isn’t good enough: Western state governors need to use their combined power to demand the U.S. Department of Transportation stop oil train traffic immediately.

More and more experts are standing up and demanding action. Oregon’s Department of Transportation, multiple Western state mayors, and now the Washington State Council of Firefighters are all calling on governors to do everything they can to stop oil train traffic and reject proposals for new oil train terminals.

Firefighters are especially concerned as Washington enters another summer of record-breaking heat and drought. Climate chaos is already making their jobs more dangerous than ever; adding the risk of exploding oil trains is unacceptable.

These firefighters are some of the first ones in danger when these trains derail and explode — they deserve the support of their lawmakers.

The President of the Washington State Council of Firefighters, Dennis Lawson, put it best: “[T]hese fires are exceedingly difficult to extinguish, even under unusually ideal circumstances,” Lawson wrote. “What happened in Mosier could have just as easily happened in a population center like Spokane or Seattle, resulting in even greater tragedy.”

From firefighters to fishermen, the people who have the most to lose from oil trains deserve the support of the people they elected. Tell Western state governors to take immediate action to get oil trains off our train tracks.

Add your voice: demand that Western state governors stand with firefighters, city leaders, and people like you and me. Stop oil trains now.

Sources and Further Reading:
Wilson, Conrad. “New Spilled Crude Oil Discovered At Mosier Train Crash,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, June 7, 2016. http://bit.ly/1TVSfo6

Smith, E.J. III, “Washington firefighters want oil trains halted, ask Inslee for help,” Seattle Times, June 10, 2016. http://bit.ly/28XFmvS

Achen, Paris, “Oregon DOT Asks For Moratorium On Oil Trains,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, June 16, 2016. http://bit.ly/28PVgtF
McKay, Floyd, “The Northwest’s coming clashes over fossil fuel exports,” Crosscut.com, December 9, 2015. http://bit.ly/28UEtTq

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