US Climate and Health Alliance

Position Statement on Crude Oil Transport & Storage


Energy companies have proposed increases in oil-by-rail transport and storage in the states of Washington and Oregon with subsequent ocean shipments from Pacific Northwest ports. While there was no movement of oil-by-rail in Washington three years ago, dramatic increases in oil extraction from the Bakken fields in North Dakota and Montana and from Canadian oil/tar sands have occurred with significant increases in oil-by-rail traffic. If current proposals are allowed to proceed, the volume of oil-by-rail coming into Washington would increase from the current 19 trains per week to as many as 137 trains per week, each about 1.5 miles long. Each would carry approximately 2.9 million gallons of volatile crude to be stored, in some cases refined, and then exported to other states. This is a larger daily volume than would flow through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Trains also carry Bakken oil through Oregon to California, and barges carry it from Oregon ports on the Columbia River to Washington and California refineries via the Pacific Ocean. If the federal crude oil export ban were lifted, the number of crude-by-rail trains and barges traveling through Washington and Oregon could increase significantly more than currently projected.

Resource Type
Position paper/statement
Concerned Washington Oregon Health Care Professionals
Resource URL
Oct 29, 2015
Organization Type
Health and Human Impacts
Allergies Occupational health Other disease Respiratory disease
Emission Sources
Conventional energy Energy Conventional
Fossil Fuel

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