Senator Doug Ericksen is asking the Legislature to launch an investigation into the December 22, 2020 BNSF crude oil train derailment in Custer, Washington. This request comes three weeks after a rail union official publicly claimed that the train derailment in Custer was the result of sabotage.
Sen. Ericksen told KIRO Radio “I think it’s the Legislature’s duty to dig into the facts and to find out what’s going on so that we can take proper action as a Legislature, number one, to condemn these types of activities and number two, to look at legislation that might be necessary in the 2022 Legislative session to get tough on these types of actions.
I am very concerned about this activity and the impacts it’ll have on the economy, but also the impacts it’ll have on human life, if we don’t act strongly, and with one common voice say, ‘This is not acceptable in Washington state’. We need to come together as a state, as a region, as a people, to say that these types of terrorism are not fine here.”
In addition to the investigation, Sen. Ericksen is seeking tougher penalties for those convicted in rail sabotage incidents. “I think it could be tougher penalties in Washington state — longer sentences, higher fines…But the other key thing is not to just go after the people who … actually hurt the tracks, but to go after those people who are encouraging them, or facilitating, or providing those people with the payment and means to be able to do it.”
State senator calls for Legislature to investigate Custer train derailment