100 Protestors Symbolically Blockade Tracks Against Oil Trains in Seattle

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by Chris Legeros / Kirotv

More than 100 protestors locked arms for a few minutes, blocking the railroad tracks just south of Seattle’s sports stadiums.

They symbolically called for an end to oil trains.

They said three of the trains now pass through downtown every week, bringing crude from North Dakota to an Anacortes refinery.

Carlo Voli said there are proposals to increase that number to 24.

He said, “This is really, seriously dangerous stuff and it’s passing through downtown Seattle.”

Just last December, an oil train derailed and caught fire near the oil fields of North Dakota.  In Canada, 47 people died last July after a train jumped the tracks and exploded.

Voli said, “it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when more of these explosions are happening.”

Federal safety inspectors recommended last week that the trains avoid populated areas, and that shippers beef up safety and security measures.

There have been calls for more puncture-resistant tanker cars.  That’s not good enough for some who believe the new North Dakota oil should just be left in the ground, replaced by greener, cleaner sources of energy.

The CEO of the Union Pacific Railroad has already said his industry plans to start treating oil like a toxic chemical and carefully plan out the safest routes possible.

Jack Koraleski said, “By any stretch of the imagination, our performance in crude oil is incredibly safe, but there are some things we can do to make it safer.”

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