Repost from the Benicia Herald
[Editor: No link is provided for this letter because the Benicia Herald does not publish letters in its online edition. A version of this letter also appeared in the Contra Costa Times. – RS]
Allowing crude by rail is asking for troubleBy Kathy Kerridge, August 16, 2015, Benicia Herald
It’s time for Benicia and California to say no to bringing in crude oil by rail (CBR). This is the highly explosive and flammable Bakken crude from North Dakota, which exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47. This is what Valero wants to bring into Benicia and other refineries want to bring into the Bay Area. There have been 30 major crude by rail accidents since 2012, including the latest on July 17 in Montana that spilled 35,000 gallons from a train that was going the legal speed limit.
The refineries also want to bring in tar sands crude from Alberta, Canada. A spill of tar sands crude in water cannot be cleaned up. The substances that dilute the tar sands (like benzene) so it can be transported evaporate and the tar sands sink to the bottom of the water. $1 billion, yes that’s right billion, has been spent on the Kalamazoo River spill of tar sands and the river is still not clean. Do we want a spill on the Benicia Rail Bridge into the Carquinez Strait or one in the Suisun Marsh? How about the Feather River Canyon where a train carrying corn recently derailed sending its cargo into the river?
Say no to CRB going over high hazard areas. Every rail line into the state goes through one. Say no to CBR by earthquake faults. Say no to trains carrying crude in cars designed to carry corn syrup. Say no to the new cars which have also split and spilled in recent derailments. Say no to bomb trains going through densely populated areas like Sacramento, Davis, and the East Bay. Just say no to putting people, our water sources and our environment at risk