Statement from Rebecca Ponzio on behalf of the Stand Up To Oil coalition in response to the announcement by Union Pacific that they will restart oil train travel on the same line where a train derailed only three weeks ago in Mosier, OR. The derailment caused a fire and explosion that required school children and the surrounding community to evacuate, over 10,000 gallons to spill into the water treatment plant, and a spill into the Columbia River:
“By restarting oil train traffic along the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, Union Pacific shows a reckless disregard for the safety and health of rail line communities.
Only three weeks ago, the derailment and fire in Mosier horrified communities across the Northwest. What is even more troubling is that it happened while taking industry-approved precautions: ‘safer’ tank cars, lower train speed, and frequent track inspections. In the time since the Mosier disaster, there have been no significant changes to the safety picture – meaning our communities, health, and waterways are being put at known risk.
Leaders from across the Northwest have called for a variety of steps to safeguard our communities – including stopping oil train traffic until their safety can be proven. Union Pacific has ignored all these leaders and communities and proceeded on with what matters most to them: the bottom line.
It’s now time for President Obama, Senators Wyden, Merkley, Cantwell and Murray, and Governors Brown and Inslee to do everything in their power to stand up for the safety of our communities – no more oil train traffic until our communities and waterways are protected.”