Suggested talking points:
*Introduce yourself. Why you care about this issue.
*Ask that Skagit County, under SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) law make a determination of significance on the Shell oil by rail application and ask that the County involve the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) and the Department of Ecology to do a thorough permit review and Environmental Impact Statement that considers the significant adverse impacts this proposal represents for the region and our state. Bakken shale oil trains would follow the similar routes as coal trains. The EFSEC is required to review all projects that transport more than 50,000 barrels per day of crude oil over marine waters. Because the Shell expansion would route roughly 73,000 barrels per day of oil by rail into their refinery, and because these oil trains must cross over the Swinomish Channel to get to the facility, there is little question that this project is subject to EFSEC review.
*The Shell proposal is one of several crude-by-rail proposals that pose potentially huge risks to all communities along the rail corridor including Skagit County communities, farmlands, Fidalgo Bay, and the marine environments in and around Padilla Bay National Estuarine Reserve.
*Bakken crude oil is especially hazardous because of fracking chemicals. The DOT-111 general service tank cars that are commonly used for transport have design flaws that make them more susceptible to rupture when transporting Bakken crude oil. (source: 2012 letter from Deborah Hersman, Chairman of the Natl. Transportation Safety Board in which she states that 69% of rail tank cars are DOT-111 which have a "high incidence of tank failure during accidents.")
*Therefore Skagit County should request a complete EIS that would study all the potential impacts and safety concerns of Shell's oil by rail proposal.