ForestEthics released a new report yesterday, Off the Rails, detailing the threats posed to the Pacific Northwest by the various fossil fuel export projects currently operating in or proposed for our region. It catalogs the serious public safety, public health, pollution, and transportation disruption dangers these projects bring to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, as they have enjoyed astronomical and largely unchecked growth over the last several years.

Be sure to check out the whole report, which includes Sightline research, but highlights in their findings include:

  • Oil-by-rail shipments in the US have increased more than 4,100 percent over the last six years, with an estimated 400,000 rail cars of oil on America’s Class I railways in 2013 alone.
  • Four proposed coal terminals in the Northwest would export 108 million tons of coal every year via about 1,000 freighters through the Salish Sea and Pacific Coast.
  • 57 mile-plus-long coal and oil trains would travel through the region daily if all proposed export projects are built.

ForestEthics campaign director Matt Krogh summed up the enormity of what we are facing: “The pace of development proposals is dizzying—it is nearly impossible for the public to wrap their heads around it, let alone make choices about the risks they’re willing to expose themselves to.”

Let’s hope this report will help advance that conversation.