Nine 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.