Petition about oil trains in Spokane raises questions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Petition about oil trains in Spokane raises questions

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KHQ reached out to BNSF multiple times trying to find out if the petition is legit or not. KHQ reached out to BNSF multiple times trying to find out if the petition is legit or not.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Community members are trying to figure out if a website petition allegedly by BNSF is the company's way of trying to derail the city council's initiative to make it illegal to run coal and oil trains through Spokane.

KHQ found there's no contact information on the petition. KHQ reached out to BNSF told KHQ Friday night that the petition was indeed legitimate.

This is the message on the website (http://bnsfnorthwest.com/spokane): "To Spokane City Council: Stop wasting my tax dollars on your proposed ordinance against moving coal and oil by rail." All you have to do is write your name, email address and click "sign now."

What actually happens is the email is sent directly to all of the city council members and it's copied and pasted from the petition.

KHQ went to city hall on Friday where city workers say they've received an influx of emails from hundreds of people in the last 24 hours.

An email screenshot sent to KHQ by one viewer shows City Council President Ben Stuckart to one woman saying, "Interestingly your email is a cut and paste of the last 6 emails I received on this subject."

City hall employees say they have contacted the people named in the protest emails and a lot of those folks were surprised that by signing the electronic petition, it would spawn this flood of batch emails.

The council's initiative would leave it up to voters to decide whether to fine rail companies $261 for each car of crude oil or coal shipped through Spokane. This will be on the November ballot.

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