Crude Oil Trains Threaten the Columbia River Gorge

by Sean Aaron Cruz

Portland, Oregon–

Crude oil trains are passing within 100 feet of both banks of the Columbia River at Celilo/Wishram. See video link below:

BNSF runs its bomb trains on the Washington side, Union Pacific runs its bomb trains on the Oregon side, rolling the dice through every community in the Columbia Gorge….

No place in the entire Columbia River Gorge is ready or equipped to deal with a crude oil incident, whether derailment, leakage, fire or explosion, and the train tracks run through every community, close by schools and hospitals, homes and businesses. The railroads refuse to warn emergency workers or residents when they are sending the bomb trains through, and it is up to the communities (and taxpayers) to pay for and provide training, personnel and emergency equipment to deal with an incident.

For more than 80 miles, the railroad tracks line both banks of the Columbia River and its vital salmon fishery.

The railroads and the crude oil export industry want to increase the number of oil trains they run through the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, in all kinds of weather and track conditions.

Who will stop these crude oil bomb trains before a catastrophe takes place?

It is up to you….

celilo scouting jun 26 012

Wishram, Washington on left  — Celilo Falls in between — Celilo Village, Oregon on right

Washington: BNSF RR                             Oregon: Union Pacific RR


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Wishram, Washington, BNSF rail yard looking south at Celilo Village, Oregon

See video:

Bomb Trains” The Crude Gamble of Oil By Rail

The Friends of Celilo Falls is forming:

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About 1000nations

Sean Aaron Cruz is Executive Director of 1000 Nations and a co-founder of The Friends of Celilo Falls. He is the organizer of the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival. He is co-author of Winona LaDuke's new book, "The Militarization of Indian Country." He is the father of four children who disappeared into Utah in a Mormon abduction in 1996, and the author of Oregon's landmark anti-kidnapping statute "Aaron's Law" (Senate Bill 1041), named for his late son Aaron Cruz. He writes online as Blogolitical Sean.
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