Surging oil traffic puts region at risk

Originally published April 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM | Page modified April 19, 2014 at 9:53 PM

The amount of oil leaving Prince William Sound is a quarter of what it was when the Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million gallons of crude in Alaska. But as the energy industry transforms the Pacific Northwest into a fossil-fuel gateway, tanker traffic could explode.

Seattle Times environment reporter

Graphic: Fossil fuels and spill risk

Click to learn more about the changing landscape of fossil-fuel distribution.

Efforts to transform the Northwest into a fossil-fuel hub for North Dakota’s crude, Alberta’s oil sands and coal from the Rocky Mountains mean the risks of major spills and explosions in and around Washington state are rising and poised to skyrocket.

Millions of gallons of oil are suddenly transiting our region by train. Barges now haul petroleum across the treacherous mouth of the Columbia River and on to Puget Sound. Oil-tanker traffic through tricky channels north of Puget Sound may well increase dramatically in coming years.

~ by fredfelleman on April 22, 2014.

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