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Northwest officials discuss train transport

first_imgA group of elected officials who want federal regulators to do more about mitigating the risks local communities face from coal and oil transportation visited the site of June’s Mosier, Ore., oil train derailment Monday and met in Vancouver to discuss how to prevent future incidents.“It’s my sincere hope (that by) informing our constituents and communicating with one voice to our national leaders we will be able to affect change,” said Dow Constantine, King County executive and chair of the Safe Energy Leadership Alliance.The alliance is made up of 165 elected representatives from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and California, as well as British Columbia and a handful of Native American tribes who advocate for greater federal scrutiny of how fossil fuel transport might affect public health, safety, traffic and treaty rights. The group also advocates for stronger state and federal legislation along rail and barge routes.Since the group formed more than two years ago, both Washington and Oregon have enacted legislation aimed at improving crude-by-rail safety and keeping first responders better informed.Although the group’s members have concerns about fossil fuel transport, they have few powers to regulate them. Washington and Oregon have been receptive to tightening crude-by-rail regulations; the federal government has been reluctant to follow suit during the administration of President Barack Obama. Now, with President-elect Donald Trump promising to slash regulations and offer tax cuts to the oil and gas industry, the prospects likely won’t improve.last_img read more

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