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Originally published April 19, 2014 at 5:41 PM | Page modified May 1, 2014 at 3:50 PM

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Fossil fuels and spill risk: A changing landscape

Washington has long been a fossil fuel depot. But changes in how and where we get our oil — and the addition of proposals to export coal — are increasing the risk of spills and major accidents. Here is how fossil fuel distribution is changing.

Bellingham Boundary Pass Haro Strait BoundaryPass HaroStrait Bellingham Anacortes Ferndale Cherry Point Ferndale Anacortes Sources: Esri; Kinder Morgan; National Mining Association; Energy Information Administration; USGS; Sightline Institute; Washington State Department of Transportation;; Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee 2013 Annual Report of Feb. 13, 2014 Reporting by CRAIG WELCHGraphic by MARK NOWLIN / THE SEATTLE TIMES Increasing traffic by rail and sea introduces new risks to Puget SoundEnergy companies now transport oil here by train from North Dakota, and one company wants to boost its pipeline from Alberta's oil sands. Both pose dramatically increased spill risks. Adding ship traffic from a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, which could supply coal from the Powder River Basin to Asia, would increase the possibility of oil-tanker collisions. OIL-SANDS DEPOSITS BAKKEN OIL FIELD COAL DEPOSITS TERMINALS CRUDE-OIL PIPELINES MAJOR RAIL-FREIGHT LINES CRUDE-OIL U.S. TANKER TRAFFIC Decreasing tanker traffic out of AlaskaHistorically, most oil-tanker traffic through the Strait of Juan de Fuca has come from Valdez. But tanker traffic from Alaska has dropped substantially in recent years as oil production on the North Slope declines. COAL-EXPORT TERMINALS Articulated tug and barge (ATB) traffic at all-time highIn the last 15 years, companies have begun using barges to transport oil in Puget Sound, often from places they never have before, like the Columbia River, where oil now arrives from North Dakota by train. Pacific Ocean BRITISH COLUMBIA BRITISH COLUMBIA CALIFORNIA Anacortes Vancouver Los Angeles area Oxnard Santa Maria San Francisco Bay area Prince Rupert ProposedTrans Mountainpipeline expansion CRUDE-OIL PIPELINES MAJOR RAIL-FREIGHT LINES Operating Proposed Operating U.S. ARTICULATED TUG AND BARGE (ATB) TRAFFIC Canadian Alaskatanker traffic ATBs fromColumbia River CRUDE-OIL TANKER TRAFFIC CRUDE-OIL-BY-RAIL TERMINALS COAL-EXPORT TERMINALS KEY Bellingham Victoria Westshore Burnaby Vancouver Anacortes Port Angeles Neptune Vancouver Island Vancouver Island Trans Mountain pipeline Proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Tanker trafficfrom Vancouver CherryPoint Ferndale Deadhorse Anchorage Fairbanks ALASKA National PetroleumReserve Edmonton Fort McMurray ALBERTA SASKATCHEWAN MANITOBA Beaufort Sea Kuparuk and Prudhoe BayOil Fields MONTANA S. DAKOTA IDAHO OREGON Powder River Basin coal field N. DAKOTA Coal deposits Coal deposits Juneau CANADA Gulf ofAlaska Trans-AlaskaPipeline KEY Oil-sands Deposits Bakken Oil Field 123 285 265 ExistingTrans Mountain pipeline Valdez WYOMING UNITEDSTATES 348 Projected: CANADA U.S. 60 34 MONTHLY TRAFFIC YEARLYTRAFFIC Projected: BoundaryPass HaroStrait San Juan Islands Strait of Juan de Fuca 5 Current: Cherry Point Ferndale Bellingham Vancouver Strait of Georgia Anacortes Boundary Pass BRITISHCOLUMBIA U. S. CANADA Haro Strait Strait of Juan de Fuca Trans Mountain pipeline Oil from Alberta Proposed pipelineexpansion MILES 25 0 Seattle Port of GraysHarbor Tacoma Longview Portland Port Westward Vancouver Port Angeles WASHINGTON OREGON Columbia River Aberdeen 2 Proposed Rail traffic to Western Washington terminals Olympia 248 183 MILES 50 0 Increasing Canadian tanker traffic out ofVancouverKinder Morgan, a North American-based energy company, says if it gets the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, tanker traffic would rise from 5 to 34 tankers a month. That would push yearly tanker traveling out of Vancouver from 60 to 348. NUMBER OF TANKERS