Repost from the San Francisco Chronicle
Deny the permitBy Jan Curtis, Palo Alto, Apr 22, 2016
Thank you for “Stopping oil trains is right thing for Benicia and planet” (Editorial, April 15). I am thankful some people are paying attention. Oil trains ought not to be on tracks going through populated areas. I sincerely hope the City Council of Benicia will deny the permit.Jan Curtis, Palo Alto
Abandon the crude-by-rail projectBy Allen Carroll, San Jose, Apr 23, 2016
Regarding “Stopping oil trains is right thing for Benicia and planet” (Editorial, April 15): On Tuesday evening, the Benicia’s City Council delayed its decision on permitting the Valero refinery to add a terminal for crude-by-rail shipments. Three council members are hoping for clarification of certain legal niceties via an opinion from the federal Surface Transportation Board. This is in spite of assurances from California Attorney General Harris that the council has the requisite authority, and needs nothing from the board.
Some comments expressed at Monday evening’s council session supported the idea that Valero has been a good corporate citizen, and therefore the project should be approved. But circumstances have changed. Although it can be said that we, whether residents of Benicia or not, owe our prosperity in large measure to the clever exploitation of fossil fuels, it does not follow that we owe our future to it. Quite the opposite: With each passing month, as global temperature records are repeatedly set and again broken, we find that our former friend begins to resemble a dope pusher.
We must use the resources we have to rebuild our energy infrastructure to be more sustainable. In the interest of all, and the Surface Transportation Board notwithstanding, Valero should abandon this project.Allen Carroll, San Jose