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Police have arrested three protesters for blocking train tracks that would carry crude oil into the Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes. About twenty folks had demonstrated on the tracks, in the aftermath of an recent oil train derailment in Seattle, two hours south of the refinery.

In recent years, unit (100 tanker car) trains have brought crude to this and other west coast refineries from the burgeoning Bakken oil fields of north Dakota and vicinity.  These vast increases in train traffic have sharpened folks' fear of a catastrophic oil train accident, that would cause massive casualties and release thousands of gallons of oil pollution.

The railroads have been reluctant to disclose the magnitude and routes of their oil shipments, even after the horrors of the Lac-Megantic train disaster in Canada that killed 42.

The Tesoro (formerly Shell) Refinery began operations as a Texaco refinery on Washington's north coast about 40 years ago, to process Alaskan crude after the Trans-Alaskan pipeline began operation.

This refinery also receives Tar Sands crude via a pipeline from Canada.

In 2010, the refinery exploded, killing seven workers. Tesoro paid a $2.39 million fine and paid out a $39 million settlement to the famillies of the killed workers.

In 1998, the refinery exploded, killing six workers. Shell paid a $4.4 million settlement with the agencies and a $45 million settlement with the killed workers' surviving families.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 12:03:44 PM PDT

  •  No one else is brave enough to comment I guess (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thanks for posting this.  I've hard a lot about protests against proposals for an oil pipeline west from Alberta through BC but this is the first I've heard of similar issues in Washington.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:58:33 PM PDT

  •  I try to note (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    examples of civil disobedience because it displays courage, hopefully, and not recklessness, even in cases where I am only in marginal agreement.

    A few months ago a few dozen anarchists occupied the Oregon environmental agency's office to protest coal trains, and got zero coverage.

    I didn't think that was fair.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 08:57:55 AM PDT

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