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Environmental reporter Martha Baskin recently had her piece, “Activists in Pacific Northwest Face Off Against Largest Oil-By-Rail Terminal in North America” published by Truth-Out.org. In the article, Baskin explains that the  lifting of the crude oil export ban last month”is a shot across the bow, confirming for many that the frenzy to build capacity from Midwestern reserves to the Pacific Coast was always designed for Asian markets.” Baskin quotes Dan Serres, director at the Columbia Riverkeeper,  an environmental nonprofit organization.

“It’s hard to imagine a bigger threat to the Columbia River than this project,” Serres said. “An oil spill, an oil train disaster, a tanker leak or tanker spill in this part of the river would have devastating consequences for salmon recovery and for all the communities who rely on the river for drinking water, recreation, commerce and, of course, fishing.”

Texas oil company Tesoro plans to transfer oil from trains onto tankers, which will then sail down the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean across a dangerous crossing called the Columbia River Bar, also known by Mariners as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.”

Still, the public has an opportunity to intervene. Public hearings about the proposal to build the oil-by-rail terminal will take place in Vancouver, Washington, on January 12 and in Spokane on January 14.

“After that the public has until January 22 to submit written testimony which can be submitted via the Columbia Riverkeeper’s website or via the official Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) EIS website. In late January, the review process will enter a kind of trial proceeding, in which opponents and proponents will face off before EFSEC, the state agency responsible for making a recommendation to Governor Inslee. The process could play out for much of 2016.”

Read the original article at Truth-Out.org.