Volatile Crude

In How One Tribe Could Slow the Rate of “Bomb Trains” Through Seattle, The Stranger examines Swinomish Indian Tribal Community vs Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

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Insult to Injury

The bunker fuel spill from a ship in Vancouver’s English Bay last week was a good test for the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada and Environment Canada. After closing the Vancouver-based Environmental Emergencies office in 2012, and laying off staff specifically trained to deal with oil spills, Ottawa added insult to injury by closing the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station in 2013. This, says the former station commander, resulted in a six-hour delay in response time to the English Bay oil spill. When the City of Vancouver petitioned the National Energy Board for information about Kinder Morgan’s emergency response plan — should its proposed seven-fold increase in Tar Sands shipping out of Vancouver come to pass — the feds told local government to take a hike.

Harbinger of Hate

In her latest installment on the Wall Street vs Coast Salish First Nations fossil fuel export conflict, Sandy Robson reports on the recent surge of public relations pressure applied by the Gateway Pacific Terminal consortium toward Lummi Nation, and the war chest mounted by the states of Montana and Wyoming to defeat the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

Dark Earth Day

As Fred Felleman opines at Crosscut, the unprecedented level of domestic fossil fuel extraction under Obama’s lax oversight led to the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster, and now threatens the Salish Sea. Oil train derailments and public land giveaways of coal for export pit Pacific Northwest communities and Coast Salish tribes against BP, Shell, Peabody, Cloud Peak and BNSF Railroad.

Obama’s support for export of crude oil, as well as reductions in rail and marine safety measures, leaves Washington State at the mercy of Wall Street. Simultaneously, Washington Governor Jay Inslee failed to require full environmental impact statements evaluating the chronic train and cumulative vessel impacts of the numerous oil terminal proposals.

Were it not for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians opposing fossil fuel export through their territories, the odds of an Exxon Valdez or BP Deepwater Horizon type catastrophe happening in the San Juan Islands would only be a matter of time.