I grew up in Aberdeen and Hoquiam and graduated from Hoquiam High School. I now live in Vancouver, Wash. where I am protesting with many other Vancouver residents against a proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver.
I am also against the terminal proposed for the Port of Grays Harbor.
I still have friends and family there. And every train that would travel to Hoquiam will pass through Vancouver.
The dangers to our respective communities are too great to risk these projects. There are still many unanswered questions. Who is responsible for prevention of derailments? Why do rail hubs face less red tape than major new pipelines? And why, unlike pipeline operators, are railroads usually not required to submit comprehensive oil spill response plans? And who is responsible for paying for the disastrous tragedies that will occur someday?
I was present when a retired U.S. Coast Guard employee testified at a hearing in Clark County. She worked the Exxon Valdez spill, she worked the aftermath spills of Katrina and many others during her career. As she politely pointed out, it is not a question of if, but a question of when there will be an accident. After all, oil company employees and railroad employees and port employees are all human. Humans make mistakes. Then disasters happen.
Please stand up and protest against this oil project at your port!