PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail

[UPDATE:  Our labor allies at the Washington State Labor Council passed a resolution to Governor Inslee in support of Solutionary Rail at their annual convention in July 2016.  Read about the HUGE news HERE.  Due to this GREAT NEWS and surpassing our initial 500 signature goal - we have increased the goal to 1000.  Solidarity!]


 

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, MosierBombTrainGIFMedSpeed.gif

The June 3, 2016 explosive oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon reminded us that the railroads that run through our communities are being utilized in ways that are endangering public health and safety, polluting our water and air, and ultimately harming our oceans and climate. Current railroad uses also negatively impact agriculture shipments, strand rural communities, delay passenger trains, and displace other higher-value potential for rail. As we have told you before, this does not have to be the case.  We need your leadership to change it.  And we need it now.

Bomb Trains have no place in the railroad industry's business model nor in the future of safe and sustainable rail transport.  We therefore echo our allies in the call for a moratorium on the shipping of explosive Bakken oil through our communities.  But it is not enough to say "No." That is why we have worked for three years to craft a vision to which all can proclaim a  resounding  "YES!" 

Solutionary Rail is a proposal that places railroads at the center of a sustainable transport infrastructure redefining the future of US rail.  It charts a path that overcomes the impediments to infrastructure improvement on our privately owned railroads through public-private partnership to finance, build and run a publicly owned electrification and transmission system.  It mandates that this system be fed by distributed renewable energy generation along the route and raises the bar on protecting railroad workers and communities along the tracks.  

Solutionary Rail is a catalyst project that creates synergies for positive movement and a broader just transition away from fossil fuel use and transport.
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Shipping freight by electrified rail is efficient, requiring approximately 10-25 percent of the energy required to ship by diesel truck.  Rail electrification results in dramatic capacity improvements and track speeds up to 80 and 120 MPH for high-value freight and passengers respectively.  Electrifying corridors unlocks the potential for distributed renewable energy generation and prosperity for rural communities, tribes, and power co-operatives along the route.  

Running rail on renewable energy results in near-zero carbon emissions. This addresses trains' contribution to rural and urban public health problems caused by burning diesel. Rail electrification will nearly eliminate the need for long-haul trucking and therefore reduce that source of emissions as well.  This will make freeways more safe, less burdened by the trucks that cause the most traffic fatalities and exact a disproportionate physical toll on the infrastructure itself. 

Solutionary Rail is a key component of a just transition away from the fossil fuel economy. Improvements in speed, service and capacity will draw passengers and freight off deteriorating, overcrowded freeways and clogged airports and back onto the trains and tracks. This increase in capacity combined with establishing regular freight and passenger schedules will improve service and undue a systemic cause of worker fatigue.  No longer living without a schedule, on call 24/7/365 rail workers and communities they travel through will be safer and happier.

Farmers and businesses will be able to confidently rely on rail to ship their crops and products to market in a timely manner. This increase in higher value use will displace railroads' current business model dependent upon the transport of dirty and dangerous fossil fuel commodities.  It will be replaced by a business model that serves rail companies, their workers, and the communities and regional economies they connect. 

Solutionary Rail's phase I is the route from Salish Sea to the Great Lakes, principally on BNSF’s Northern Transcon.  Successful rail electrification and modernization in the United States must start with a successful demonstration on a major rail line.  The Northern Transcon is a nationally important transport route, crossing diverse weather patterns and regional economies. It offers the perfect opportunity to successfully demonstrate rail electrification's potential to deliver of renewed vitality for US railroads and economy.

Electrified, higher-speed rail provides the foundation for sustainable jobs and prosperity through improved transportation access and stable long-term costs. By spurring the creation of a Steel Interstate Development Authority to finance electrification with low interest public bonds and building a rail electrification partnership with BNSF and others across the Northern Transcon, you Governor Inslee will be making Washington State a launch pad for the clean energy revolution you have long sought. We implore you Governor Inslee to lead with vision and champion the Solutionary Rail proposal.

SR-Map-Cab-BuildoutGIF.gifHere are the action steps we need you to take Governor Inslee: 

  • Personally Champion the Solutionary Rail vision for a future railroad industry and infrastructure that is no longer dependent upon shipping dirty and dangerous fossil fuel commodities.

  • Create an executive level task force of cabinet and agency leads to work with the Solutionary Rail technical team to study and enhance the proposal and guarantee that its key public benefit components cannot be negotiated away. 

  • Convene a leadership summit, drawing in relevant governors, agency and elected officials to adopt an implementations plan for this inter-jurisdictional proposal and a pathway for creating a multi-state Steel Interstate Development Authority able to implement Solutionary Rail's phase I pilot from the Salish Sea to the Great Lakes.

  • Negotiate a win/win partnership with Northern Transcon railroad owners including BNSF and its owner, Berkshire Hathaway led by Warren Buffett to access all necessary right of ways to build out and maintain the electrification and transmission infrastructure across the Solutionary Rail phase I corridor. 

  • Begin the electrification build-out and development of stranded renewable energy assets across Solutionary Rail route, and transition to a duel powered and pure electric locomotive fleet for higher-speed freight and passenger rail to creates new customers and draw old ones off of the roads and back onto the tracks. 

So once again Governor Inslee:

We the undersigned call upon you to be the champion we and future generations need you to be. 
Re-spark your passion for clean renewable solutions articulated in your book Apollo's Fire.  Protect our land and people from bomb trains and the fossil fuel driven economy. Lead boldly and use your power to get railroads on a track to a future we can all be proud of. 

Champion Backbone Campaign's Solutionary Rail proposal.

With Respect and Urgency,

Solutionary Rail Team
The Backbone Campaign
& Undersigning Allies

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[SIGNERS PLEASE Pitch-in to this forward looking project and receive a copy of the upcoming Solutionary Rail book or Map go to the Solutionary Rail Pitch-in Page.  
For more information and background papers go to SolutionaryRail.org.]

Who's signing

588 SIGNATURES
750 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 113 reactions

  • Patricia Holm
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-05 10:45:38 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Sharon Abreu
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-04 16:30:04 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Sharon Abreu
    @SharonAbreu tweeted link to this page. 2016-07-04 16:30:02 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail http://www.backbonecampaign.org/solutionary_rail_petition?recruiter_id=110
  • Katharine Hay
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-03 22:46:54 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Jonniemarie Gilman
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-03 13:18:37 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Kelly Hale
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-03 11:02:22 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Steven Ingham
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-03 09:46:13 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Steven Ingham
    @StevenIngham tweeted link to this page. 2016-07-03 09:46:11 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail http://www.backbonecampaign.org/solutionary_rail_petition?recruiter_id=24094
  • Cass Martinez
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-19 09:57:07 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Bill Moyer
    commented 2016-06-18 13:45:46 -0700
    Great work everybody! We’re way more than halfway to our initial 500 signature goal. And this is no ordinary petition comma but a powerful public education tool. We are getting the leaders and activists up to speed on a positive proposal.

    A number of people have volunteered to be part of the Solutionary Rail team. And folks are sharing this online with their networks in social media.

    Next Saturday at Backbone Campaign’s action camp on Vashon Island, we will be doing a solutionary rail presentation to help prepare people for the next step of public outreach and bird-dogging of elected officials.

    Please contact Lotus@BackboneCampaign.org if you would like to attend the event next Saturday, or be part of the team.

    Thank you again for being part of pushing for a just transition to a fossil fuel free society from the bottom up.

    Forward Together!

    Bill Moyer and the Solutionary Rail team.
  • Karen Boyer
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-18 05:33:26 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Lauren Atkinson
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-16 16:18:40 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Lauren Tozzi
    @brownandred tweeted link to this page. 2016-06-15 20:35:57 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail http://www.backbonecampaign.org/solutionary_rail_petition?recruiter_id=7855
  • steve chrismer
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-15 05:18:11 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • John Duffy
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-14 21:24:44 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • John Duffy
    @Duffernutter tweeted link to this page. 2016-06-14 21:24:42 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail http://www.backbonecampaign.org/solutionary_rail_petition?recruiter_id=10313
  • Linda Orgel
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-13 08:56:32 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Tim and Joanna Baer/Wiebe
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-12 18:36:09 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Michaela Wehner
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-12 17:22:03 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Susan DuFresne
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-12 16:45:53 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Randy Meier
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-12 05:02:58 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Randy Meier
    @rmeier2009 tweeted link to this page. 2016-06-12 05:02:55 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail http://www.backbonecampaign.org/solutionary_rail_petition?recruiter_id=44008
  • Benjamin Joldersma
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-11 22:11:38 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Andrew Stewart
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-11 21:29:25 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Andrew Stewart
    @stew312856 tweeted link to this page. 2016-06-11 21:29:22 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail http://www.backbonecampaign.org/solutionary_rail_petition?recruiter_id=44254
  • Benjamin Sibelman
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-11 15:12:19 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Andrea Radich
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-11 14:03:42 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • brian brown
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-11 13:40:57 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Backbone Campaign posted about Petition to Gov. Inslee on Backbone Campaign's Facebook page 2016-06-11 13:14:35 -0700
    #NoBombTrains #JustTransition #SolutionaryRaill We need bold, visionary leadership to get our nation's railroads back on track. We have a proposal. We need Gov. Jay Inslee to be our champion. SIGN the PETITION to Governor Jay Inslee to Place a Moratorium in Bakken Oil Trains and break rail's dirty energy transport habit. Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail
  • Anni Lanigan
    posted about this on Facebook 2016-06-11 12:41:37 -0700
    PETITION: Governor Inslee - Champion a Just Transition to Safer, Sustainable Railroads via Solutionary Rail