At a time when the United States government appears to be falling under the control of the fossil fuel sector, cities are taking the lead in transitioning to a cleaner economy. In Oregon, for example, Portland is poised to curtail new fossil fuel infrastructure.
The flames have been put out and a tweet from the Washington’s Department of Ecology says the air quality is good. Four railway cars, carrying approximately 120,000 gallons of oil, ruptured in yesterday’s incident. No one knows how much oil spilled out, or made its’ way into the Columbia River. (As you can see in the photo above, there was a sheen on the Oregon shore this morning.) No one can flush their toilets, or drink the water, because the town’s sewer plant was directly affected. A local resident said Mosier was Lucky, no one was killed.
There are currently only one or two trains going through the Columbia River Gorge every day. Imagine what would happen if all the fossil fuel projects in this region were approved. Up to a hundred trains, averaging between a mile and a mile and a half in length, and would make this same trek weekly. Six months ago, a truck driver was killed in a railway accident within Portland’s city limits. The flames spread to eight railway cars, carrying oil or asphalt, which luckily did not catch fire. There was another oil-by-rail fire near Portland today.