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Union Pacific resuming oil trains in Columbia Gorge

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A June 3 oil train derailment and explosion in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge sent 16 cars off the tracks. Four cars caught fire, sending 42,000 gallons of crude into the ground and the air. (KPTV)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Union Pacific plans to resume transporting oil by train through the Oregon side of the scenic Columbia River Gorge at some point this week.

It will mark the first time trains carrying barrels of crude oil will move through the area since June 3, when a train derailed near Mosier, Oregon. The fiery derailment caused 42,000 gallons of oil to spill.

The company’s latest plans, announced Wednesday, stand at odds with several government and private-sector leaders in Oregon and Washington state, who say oil-by-train is too dangerous and are urging their governors, Congress and the White House to push for a moratorium on the practice.

Union Pacific defended its decision, saying its oil train operations are a federal obligation.