**NEW** Oregon Legislature Oil-By-Rail Bill Announced

Oregonians: Act Now – Send a Letter of Support for HB 2131 & 3344   

PrintNine months after a fiery oil train derailment in Mosier, the Oregon legislature’s House Committee on Energy & Environment is considering important bills that would strengthen Oregon’s hand in addressing the risks from reckless oil trains. One new bill, HB 3344, would bolster Oregon’s ability to review and potentially deny dangerous oil terminals. A second bill, HB 2131, would require additional safety and financial responsibility measures by railroads.

We know that oil-by-rail is inherently unsafe, but until it’s stopped, Oregon needs to do everything in its power to protect our rivers and our communities.

HB 2131 and HB 3344 (see our fact sheet) are assigned to the House Committee on Energy and Environment, and they will receive their first hearing on Monday, March 13th at 3pm in Hearing Room D. Here are some details about the two bills:

  • HB 2131 would require additional contingency planning by railroads, levy fees to build up Oregon’s oil spill contingency fund, and require railroads to demonstrate financial responsibility to pay for a worst-case spill.
  • HB 3344 adds to the financial responsibility requirement for railroads by addressing oil terminals themselves. HB 3344 prevents state funding for oil and coal terminals and adds a “balancing test” that empowers Oregon Department of State Lands to consider the impact of oil terminals on public resources. It also prohibits the legislature from funding oil or coal terminals.

Together, we will be urging the House Committee on Energy & Environment to support these bills. Help us send a message: click here to urge your legislator to support HB 2131 and HB 3344.

3 Responses to “**NEW** Oregon Legislature Oil-By-Rail Bill Announced”

  1. Leigh Anne Jasheway says:

    We need to make sure Oregonians and our environment are protected from the clear and present dangers presented by moving oil by rail. This state should play a leadership role in leaving fossil fuels and stricter guidelines for transporting oil by rail will help with that.

  2. Paul Seamons says:

    Please support HB 2131 and HB 3344. Oil trains and terminals must step up and take responsibility for their actions.
    In the first place Oregon should be moving away from reliance upon and facilitating the use of fossil fuels as an energy source. Oregon should be dissuading additional fossil fuel infrastructure in the state. The science is clear. 97% of climate scientists worldwide believe this. NASA believes this. 190 countries in Paris in 2015 endorsed this. The Defense Department believes this. The fact that our Federal government chooses willful ignorance does not excuse Oregonians from our responsibilities to our children, our grandchildren and all the Earth’s children.
    But for goodness sake if we are to have oil trains and oil terminals (which I believe we should not), let’s make sure that the trains and terminals are safe, that they are prepared for likely problems, and that they are financially able to assume responsibility for any adverse consequences of their profit making activity. I am a capitalist. I am all for profit making activities. BUT I am NOT in favor of socializing the losses when profit making activities cause problems for the vast majority of the population.
    Before Oregon gives me a driver’s license, I must demonstrate that my car is environmentally safe, that I am a capable operator and that, via insurance, I can take responsibilities for problems I cause others.
    So it should be for Oil trains and terminals.
    Please support HB 2131 and HB 3344. Oil trains and terminals must step up and take responsibility for their actions.

  3. Alex Anderson Beaulieu says:

    What our elected representatives perhaps do not yet understand is the severity of impact- letting these trains by at all, would have on our system. Asthma, cardiac disease, and air pollution are certianly on the rise. Derailment is a forseeable outcome. Most importantly, the atmospheric CO2 levels are getting ever close to the 500 ppm benchmark of heading into terminal extinction. We only have 4-5 years of influential time to change the course.