How many crude oil trains are too many for the Northwest? A handful a week has grown into 15 to 18 trains now that plow through Sandpoint, Athol and Rathdrum on their way to the five refineries and three export terminals now operating on the Northwest coast. Each one of those trains pulls about 100 tank cars full of explosive Bakken crude oil — the same cargo that demolished 47 lives and the entire downtown of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in 2013 when a trail derailed. Now another refinery and six more crude-by-rail export terminals are in construction or proposed for the Northwest coast. If all are built, the number of trains weekly through northern Idaho can climb to 100. They’ll carry more than one million gallons of explosive crude oil through our area daily.
These trains not only place our lives in danger with their flammable cargo, but also contaminate our drinking water and threaten our lakes and fish population with their leaky tank cars. If you value your life and the beautiful state you live in, let your state and federal representatives know that you don’t support any more crude-by-rail refineries or export terminals on the Northwest coast.
Mary Baenen, Sandpoint