Ron visits Mosier to praise community response to oil train derailment

Ron visited Mosier on Sunday to thank the first responders to the June 3 oil train derailment and fire in the Columbia Gorge town, and to talk with the community about his work to prevent any repeats.

This community has really set the gold standard for the country on how to deal with an enormous challenge,” he said in a public meeting at Mosier School. “This drives home the message of how much more needs to be done to address these very real dangers.”

Ron said that his drive to Sunday’s meeting in Mosier from his home reaffirmed the importance of protecting the natural treasure that is the Columbia Gorge.

My bottom line as we go forward,” Ron told Gorge residents, “is I am not going to allow Oregonians to be tied to unsafe tracks – and that extends to unsafe train cars as well.”

He outlined the details of legislation he introduced last year that would use market incentives to get the most dangerous rail cars off the tracks while providing tax incentives to accelerate the upgrade the safety of rail cars.

Ron’s bill also makes available funds to improve training for first responders, relocate tracks away from populated areas and help states to conduct more track inspections.

At Sunday’s meeting, he also presented a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol at his request to Mosier Fire Chief Jim Appleton to honor the “heroism and courageous actions” of the local first responders, several of whom Ron met privately with beforehand.

Speaking of their response to the derailment and fire, Ron said, “If you hadn’t been there doing the fabulous work, this Sunday would have been very, very different."