Make Oil Transportation Safer and More Transparent

Target: Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington

Goal: Make oil transportation safer and more transparent for the public

Oil train safety continues to be a hot-button environmental issue in the Pacific Northwest. Statistics show that more oil was spilled in the United States in 2013 than in the previous 37 years combined–not to mention those devastating oil train explosions.

However, Democrats and Republicans have very different opinions about how to handle the environmental issue. While Democrats want energy companies to disclose how much oil they’re sending through the state on trains, Republicans believe this would compromise national security and destroy business competition. While Democrats want more regulation of maritime transport, Republicans think this would get in the way of increasing transport needs. One thing they agree upon is wanting the Department of Ecology to speed up disaster planning for oil train derailments.

Regardless which side of the debate you’re on, oil transportation must become safer and more transparent for the public. The state of Washington plays a crucial role in oil transportation because it is a stopping point for domestic production between North Dakota shales and California refineries. Four terminals are already operating in Washington and Oregon, with another seven planned in the near future, according to a report by the Seattle-based Sightline Institute.

Sign the below petition to urge Washington lawmakers to support a bill that informs the public about oil transport throughout the state. If officials know where oil is being transported, they will be able to react to potential oil spills and explosions in a timely way.


Dear Mr. Inslee,

As you know, the state of Washington has become a major passing point for large amounts of oil being transported from North Dakota to California. Oil transportation has resulted in devastating spills and explosions in 2013, more than in the past 37 years combined.

As House Representative Jessyn Farrell, pointed out, “The public has a right to know how much oil is coming, where it’s coming from and where it’s being transported in our communities.” If officials know where oil is being transported in Washington, they can be better prepared to handle and clean up spills, which seem to be happening more and more frequently.

I am urging you to work with Democrats and Republicans in your state to ensure that the public is informed about oil transportation and kept safe from potential oil spill and explosion hazards. These two parties must put their political agendas aside and work together to keep the environment and the people of Washington safe and protected.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Russ Allison Loar via Flickr

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