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Cities turn to local action to block oil trains

July 30, 2016

The Washington Times

July 27, 2016

by  PHUONG LE

SEATTLE (AP) – As crude oil trains began rolling through its downtown a few years ago, Spokane was among the first cities to pass a resolution calling for stronger federal safety regulations.

But when a mile-long train derailed in the scenic Columbia River Gorge along the Oregon-Washington border last month – after earlier passing through this major railroad hub in eastern Washington – some city leaders said they couldn’t wait for tougher federal protections.

This week the Spokane City Council decided 6-0 to ask voters in November whether the city should prohibit the shipment of crude oil or coal by rail. The ballot measure, if approved, would make rail shipments of crude oil or coal a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $261 per tank car.

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