Tribal leaders are not happy about oil trains passing through sensitive areas like the Columbia River Gorge . . .
Leaders of several Pacific Northwest tribes gathered Thursday near the site of last week’s fiery oil train wreck in Oregon to condemn the shipping of fossil fuels through the Columbia River Gorge, a scenic homeland and sacred fishing ground for the Yakama Nation and others over the millennia.
“We do not want fossil fuels at all coming through the Columbia River Gorge — at all,” said Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy. “We truly see what is at hand. … We are sacrificing and putting at risk the long-term benefit and well-being of our nations, our children, our grandchildren, those yet to come.”
A 96-car train carrying volatile crude oil from the Northern Plains’ Bakken region to Tacoma, Washington, derailed June 3 along the Columbia River, which forms most of the boundary between Washington and Oregon. No one was hurt, but four cars caught fire, prompting the evacuation of a nearby school, forcing the closure of an interstate, and enraging local officials and residents. Some of the oil made it to the river, where it was captured by absorbent booms, officials said.