Spokane, Washington is the scene of a fight over transporting fossil fuels by train. According to The Daily Caller, environmentalists are pushing a ballot initiative, Proposition 2, that would prohibit transporting coal by open containers and outlaw certain types of fuels from being transported by locomotive through downtown Spokane or 2000 feet near a hospital, school or Spokane River.
Every container found to be not in compliance would mean the company that owns it would be fined $261 per train car. The effect, according to a business group spokesperson, would ban the transport of fossil fuels through the city and squelch a major center for transporting them throughout the Western United States.
If the proposition passes, the only alternative is to transport oil and coal by truck which, in turn, makes accidents involving vehicles with fossil fuels more likely. While trains have more carrying capacity than vehicles, the safest method is by pipeline but environmentalists oppose that too. Either by train, ship or truck, the carbon emissions emitted are much greater than using pipelines. But environmentalists don’t care.
Thankfully, even if Spokane’s initiative passes, it’s survival would be tough if it is challenged in court. Also, The federal Surface Transportation Board has sole jurisdiction over trains and hazardous materials and can nix Proposition 2 before Spokane officials could take any action.
This action, however, comes after a news report from two years ago pointing out that Sierra Club activists were counting trains in Snohomish County, Washington. Environmentalists aren’t interested in transporting fossil fuels in a safe manner nor are they concerned about the health of the natural environment. Their entire goal is centered around shutting down fossil fuel use by any means necessary in order to enhance their political control over the our lives.