Following a federal judge's ruling on Monday, BNSF Railway was ordered to pay nearly $400 million to the Swinomish Tribe in Washington State for trespassing with 100-car crude oil trains across their reservation. Judge Robert Lasnik had previously determined that BNSF violated a 1991 easement that permitted only 25 cars per day. During a recent trial, the judge calculated BNSF's profits from this trespass and decided on the disgorgement amount. 


The tribe filed a lawsuit in 2015 after BNSF increased the number of cars without their consent, facilitating Bakken oil shipments through sensitive marine ecosystems linked to the Salish Sea, where the tribe holds fishing rights. 

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Bakken oil

Bakken oil, known for its ease of refinement and higher volatility, raised concerns after train explosions in Alabama, North Dakota, and Quebec in 2014, prompting federal warnings. 

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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