I’m excited to share this just-released VICE News video piece about the threats of oil trains in the Pacific Northwest: “The Crude Gamble of Oil by Rail: Bomb Trains.”

Spencer Chumbley and Nilo Tabrizy put together a top-notch, comprehensive look at how this dangerous “pipeline on wheels” is already affecting our region, interviewing a broad range of stakeholders and experts, including: Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky of Columbia Riverkeeper; Kenny Stuart, president of the Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27; Barry Cain, president of the Oregon real estate firm Gramor Development; Rob Davis of The Oregonian; and yours truly.

  • It’s a great watch for anyone, whether you’re new to the issue or already familiar with it. And if you have neighbors or friends who don’t know much about oil trains, please share this video with them. It’s a clear introduction to a development that threatens local communities and economies.

    Bonus: For more on how these massive new rail shipments are impacting our local economy, see this excellent Seattle Times piece from the weekend on coal and oil trains crowding out grain shipments to our ports.

    Extra bonus: VICE is also publishing an editorial I wrote, Warren Buffett Really Likes Oil Trains — Despite the Explosions. Here’s a taste:

    Buffett likes to maintain an avuncular and public-spirited image, but the railroad industry fights bitterly against better safety standards and often cloaks itself with intermediaries. In the regulatory arena, Berkshire-owned firms are represented by active membership in an alphabet soup of trade associations and industry lobbying groups…

    Last week, federal regulators proposed new rules that were widely heralded by the media as a victory for public safety. But in reality, the oil-by-rail industry got most of what it wanted.