Insulted by BNSF safety information

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 23, 2014 

I believe BNSF's column of March 19th is an insult to Washington readers. The comment that BNSF "lives in" our communities is nonsense to me. It simply makes money by railroading through them. At best we are a roadbed for their commerce; at worst-if we stay informed-an impediment.

This slick column avoids the words "coal" and "oil," substituting the neutral "commodities." I believe this attempt to evoke the alleged "grain" that failed to fool thousands of EIS participants last year will not fool us now.

There is the usual promise of a "stronger economy," obviously stronger for BNSF, not us.

The claim that last year "was the safest on record" is laughable to me, given the disastrous accidents here and in Canada.

The fact that there is a "voluntary agreement" with the Department of Transportation and that "track inspections ... are conducted twice as frequently as required by federal standards" merely indicates that those standards are long overdue for updating. Who could be obstructing this legislation?

Apparently BNSF wants to be congratulated for having "issued a request" to "major railcar manufacturers." What effect could such a quaint "request" really have - except to distance BNSF from the hazardous railcars and pretend that the corporation is looking out for our safety.

Perhaps The Herald should classify such propaganda as advertising, and get paid for it.

Seth Zimmerman

Bellingham

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