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Oil Train Hearings
October 19, 2015

Shell has applied to run six more oil trains daily through Washington and along coast from the Columbia up to  line weekly. I attended an EIS hearing in Lynnwood on October 19, 2015. As best as I can recall, this is what I said:

I am James Robert Deal, Lynnwood attorney and perpetual candidate. This year I ran as an independent for Snohomish County executive. In my campaign I came out in favor of banning both oil trains and coal trains. See

I am also the president of, and I lead the opposition to putting toxic waste so-called fluoride in our drinking water.

The passage of trains is a matter of interstate commerce, and it is assumed that the federal government and its agencies have exclusive jurisdiction over it. I disagree. In establishing the Constitution, the states granted to the federal government authority to regulate interstate commerce. However, there are various interpretations of the Commerce Clause, The Tenth Amendment adds that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the states or the people. Thus, a strong governor can and should assert that the states retain the right to regulate and even prohibit dirty and dangerous interstate cargo from passing through their cities and along their rivers and shores.

The special problem with Baken oil is that it contains a lot of naphtha and is highly explosively. At minimum the oil companies should remove the naphtha at the source.

The special problem with Powder River coal trains is that they deposit mercury containing coal dust all along the tracks.

Washington leaders want to require notice of when trains will be passing through and slowing train speeds. This is not good enough. There is a risk of explosion. Time continues infinitely into the future. There will be disasters –sooner or later.

We will stop the oil trains. The question is whether we stop them before or after there is a disaster.


The New York Times had this to say.

Jay Inslee has been working to negotiate rules which would make oil trains safer. They cannot be made safer. Jay appears to be coming around to this realization.


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