Washington Legislature OKs bill to boost oil safety measures

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Legislature has passed a measure that aims to boost safety around the transportation of oil in the state.

The House on Wednesday approved the bill on a 62-35 vote. It earlier cleared the Senate and now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee.

The bill extends the state’s oil barrel tax to pipelines. That tax pays for spill response and prevention measures and currently applies to oil received by train or vessels.

The measure also directs state regulators to address the risks of certain types of oil that sink or submerge as well as to study ways to reduce oil risks in Puget Sound.

House Republicans introduced several amendments that were rejected Wednesday.

Rep. Strom Peterson, a Democrat from Edmonds, says pipelines are not immune to disasters and the bill builds on previous legislation to address increasing amounts of oil moving through the state.

The oil industry earlier told lawmakers that others, not just the petroleum industry, also needed to pay their fair share.