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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 17, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Oil trains: The dangers of Bakken oil in our backyard

FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2013 file photo, a fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D. The crash prompted new questions about the safety of oil transportation. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said the Department of Transportation needs to speed up its timeline for finalizing new rules on the construction of rail tanker cars. His comments came after an item published in the federal register indicated that new rules for tankers might not be finalized until sometime after January 2015. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File) CER605

A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D., on Dec. 30. The crash prompted new questions about the safety of oil transportation. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy)

Is anyone else troubled that North Dakota Bakken oil is now being transported through the Puget Sound region along our Third World rail transportation system? [“Oil trains are the new coal trains,” Opinion, Dec. 31].

It seems all too common in the winter months for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks to be wiped out by mudslides. As reported in The Seattle Times, there were two mudslides near Everett on last Sunday alone.

There is now one train a day carrying Bakken oil rolling through my hometown of Bellingham, with apparently more headed for an Anacortes refinery. Given where the BNSF tracks run, it’s a good bet that communities all along the Puget Sound are vulnerable.

It seems to me that we shouldn’t be shipping highly explosive oil along tracks that can’t even be relied upon to get Amtrak passengers from Bellingham to Seattle.

Jennifer Moon, Bellingham

0 Comments | More in Oil train | Topics: Bakken oil, Bellingham, BNSF

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