Firefighters to Spokane City Council: Let the Voters Decide
The state’s professional fire fighters today urged the Spokane City Council to allow voters to decide the future of oil and coal traffic through downtown Spokane. Washington State Council of Fire Fighters (WSCFF) President Dennis Lawson and Spokane Firefighters Union President John Goodman joined with members of the Solidarity Roundtable on Oil in a letter supporting the Spokane City Council’s July 25, 6-0 vote to place ordinance C35421 on the November ballot allowing citizens to decide whether to impose a $261 fine on each rail car of crude oil and uncovered coal that passes through Spokane’s downtown.
The near catastrophic oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon earlier this year “is a stark reminder that first responders, rail workers, communities and waterways remain in harm’s way from oil train traffic through our state,” says Lawson. “What happened there could just as easily happen in a population center like Spokane, resulting in even greater tragedy. Here, on the Spokane City Council, are six people who are prepared to stand up to the oil interests and the railroads to keep these dangerous trains out of their community and we support that.”
The WSCFF, which represents 8,000 professional union fire fighters, has asked State and Federal authorities to stop oil train traffic in Washington because of safety concerns, but these authorities have not done so. Now the City of Spokane is trying to regulate these dangerous oil trains, and the fire fighters support the City’s efforts