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(AP) — Voters in Spokane will decide in November whether the city should fine railroad operators for certain coal and crude oil rail shipments through its downtown core, the latest community attempting to assert its local authority in the fight over fossil fuels. The ballot measure, if approved, would make rail shipments of uncovered coal or untreated crude oil a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $261 per rail car, The Spokesman-Review reported (http://bit.ly/2tA2ZCV). If approved, it is certain to face a steep uphill legal fight, since the federal government regulates railroad operations and safety. Last summer, following a fiery oil train derailment in Mosier, Oregon, on the Columbia River, the Spokane City Council approved a ballot measure to prohibit the shipment of crude oil or coal by rail.

Source: Voters to decide if Spokane should fine coal, oil shipments – San Francisco Chronicle