Oil train hearing workshop scheduled Wednesday at library

Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Columbia Riverkeeper will be holding a workshop on how to prepare and give testimony at the upcoming oil train hearings. The workshop will take place Dec. 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Hood River Library meeting room downstairs.

On Nov. 24, Washington State regulators released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement with a 60-day comment period on the proposed Vancouver Energy Project by Tesoro - Savage Companies. This would be the biggest oil-by-rail terminal in North America and result in at least four more oil trains transiting the Gorge daily for years. On Jan. 5 and 12, there will be massive public hearings in Ridgefield, near Vancouver, according to Peter Cornelison of Friends of the Columbia River Gorge. (The print issue states a single hearing date, which is an error)

“At 360,000 barrels per day, Tesoro-Savage’s Vancouver project would ship almost half as much crude oil as the entire Keystone XL Pipeline,” Cornelison said. “This ‘pipeline on rails’ would bring four mile-long trains carrying explosive crude oil through the Columbia River Gorge and Vancouver every day.

“When oil trains derail they often spill, explode, and burn. We have already seen several catastrophic accidents across North America in the past 2.5 years. Let’s work together to stop that from happening here,” Cornelison said.

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