Oil trains remain highly controversial.
There are worries over their potential to pollute as tracks run over and along waterways, such as the Columbia River, and worries over explosion and fire.
The bottom line is that railroads have moved hazardous materials for generations – propane, chlorine, and ammonia to mention a few, usually very safely. But with the discovery of vast amounts of Bakken Crude and no available pipeline network, oil trains started rolling to refineries everywhere, including those in Washington.
Every day, at least two oil trains roll through the state of Washington. Oil, usually Bakken Crude from North Dakota, is the only thing on board. The train that derailed in Oregon was 96 cars.
Already, there is political fallout from today's derailment. KING 5 has received statements from Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Maria Cantwell, Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien.