Rapid and dramatic changes to oil transportation pose serious new threats to Northwest communities, economies and waterways.
Tell Ecology to Protect WA from Tar Sands Oil Spills
The Department of Ecology is updating the rules that require companies moving oil to have detailed spill response plans that address the specific threats of tar sands oil. Unfortunately, the updated plans are inadequate and leave us at risk of a catastrophic oil spill. Ecology must act now to increase protections for non-floating oils, like tar sands oils, with more stringent response time and equipment requirements for a fast, aggressive, and well-coordinated response to contain and recover tar sands oils before they submerge and sink.
Photo credit: Dawn Faught via NTSB
Oil companies stand to make huge profits while Northwest communities bear the risks and costs of explosive oil train derailments, a huge increase in rail traffic, and oil spills from trains, tankers and barges into our rivers, streams and coastlines.
The Pacific Northwest stands squarely between fast-growing energy markets and large fossil fuel deposits in the interior of North America. While we work to transition to clean energy, Big Oil is working to turn our region into a gateway to Pacific markets, at the cost of our health, safety, and environment.
Currently, most of the oil coming into our region is headed to refineries on the coast. But companies like Tesoro, BP, and Shell have bigger plans to export millions of barrels of crude oil overseas through the Pacific Northwest by building new terminals, expanding existing refineries, and converting existing facilities into oil storage terminals for the first time. The enormous capacity to store and ship oil from these proposed terminals far outstrips the amount used by existing refineries.
Volatile Bakken oil from the Midwest and toxic and heavy tar sands oil from inland Canada pose unique dangers to public health and the environment. While potentially explosive Bakken oil transported on trains poses a safety risk to communities across the region, heavy tar sands oils generate a huge amount of climate pollution and are uniquely devastating because they sink are and virtually impossible to clean up when spilled.
Building proposed oil export terminals would only endanger our communities and slow the transition to a clean energy economy. We can do better!
Photo credit: Natalie Jamerson
Join Stand Up To Oil!
Across the Northwest, people are standing up and speaking out against these proposals: Tribal nations, local elected officials, businesses, emergency responders, health professionals and faith leaders. Join Stand Up To Oil and help fuel the change needed to protect our communities and waterways.
Stand Up to Oil is a growing coalition of groups opposed to new oil terminals and an increase in oil transport through the Northwest, while working to improve safety measures for oil currently traveling through the region. Core members include: Columbia Riverkeeper, Earthjustice, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the San Juans, The Lands Council, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Sierra Club, STAND, Washington Environmental Council, and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility.