Public Hearing in Spokane on Oil Transport Last Week

This article in Spokane’s Spokesman-Review describes a public hearing held by members of the state Senate Committee on Energy, Environment and Telecommunications on a bill that would regulate trains carrying crude oil across Washington. The “Spill Prevention and Response Act” would require companies to disclose the amount and type of crude oil they’re shipping. It would also levy a 5-cent-per-barrel “oil spill response tax” to fund training for first responders. The safety of transporting oil from North Dakota’s Bakken fields to refineries in western Washington and Oregon is of great concern to many, particulalry in light of several major derailment accidents, including in Quebec and Virginia.