Tag Archives: Benicia City Council

CREDO Action generates over 1,800 letters opposing Valero Crude by Rail

Repost from CREDO Action
[Editor:  The following call to action arrived in thousands of email inboxes on October 27, 2015.  The response was huge – so far over 1800 CREDO-generated letters have been sent to the City of Benicia (in the first 24 hours).   The link here will take you to the CREDO Action page.  Letters deadline is 5pm on Friday, October 30, 2015.  – RS]

Tell the Benicia City Council: Block Valero’s dangerous oil trains terminal

Tell the Benicia City Council: Block Valero's dangerous oil trains terminal.

Oil giant Valero is trying to build a massive oil trains terminal at its refinery in Benicia.

Two 50-car oil trains per day would carry toxic fracked oil and tar sands across California to the refinery, passing through Roseville, Sacramento, Davis, Fairfield and other cities before reaching their destination in Benicia.¹

If approved by the Benicia City Council, the terminal would exacerbate local air pollution in Benicia and in communities along the rail route, expose those communities to the catastrophic danger of an oil train derailment and explosion, and fuel the climate crisis by encouraging fracking and tar sands extraction.

The Benicia City Council is accepting public comments on the project until 5pm on Friday, October 30, 2015. Local opposition has already delayed the project once – we need to speak out right now and demand that the city council block Valero’s dangerous oil terminal.²

Tell the Benicia City Council: Block Valero’s dangerous oil trains terminal. Submit a public comment directly to the city council.

The number of crude by rail accidents in recent years has skyrocketed. In addition to the deadly oil train explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Québec in July 2013, which killed 47 people, there have been nine major oil train explosions in the United States since the start of 2013.

In addition to the threat of deadly train derailments and explosions, Valero’s plan would worsen air quality for communities all along the rail line. In Benicia, shipping more fracked oil and tar sands to Valero’s refinery would only increase toxic refinery pollution. Further, oil trains leak dangerous chemicals, creating a toxic plume around rail lines up and down the rail route.³

With no end in sight to the record drought threatening California, there is simply no excuse for green-lighting any fossil fuel infrastructure project that will encourage the extraction of more dirty fracked oil and tar sands and exacerbating climate change.

Valero will get its way if we remain silent. Submit a public comment urging the Benicia City Council to reject Valero’s crude by rail project.

¹ Jaxon Van Derbeken, “Benicia sees cash in crude oil; neighbors see catastrophe,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 24, 2014
² Tony Bizjak, “Benicia plans more study of crude-oil train impacts,” Sacramento Bee, February 3, 2015
³ Diane Bailey, “Valero’s Promise to Benicia: We’ll only have an environmental disaster once every 111 years,” NRDC Switchboard, September 17, 2014

Send an email.

Tell the Benicia City Council:

Valero’s outrageous proposal to build an oil trains terminal at its refinery in Benicia threatens the health and safety of people all along the rail route.

If approved by the Benicia City Council, the terminal would exacerbate local air pollution in Benicia and in communities along the rail route, expose those communities to the catastrophic danger of an oil train derailment and explosion, and fuel the climate crisis by encouraging fracking and tar sands extraction.

I urge the Planning Commission and the City Council to reject Valero’s dangerous plan.

Click here to send this email.

Tell the Benicia City Council: Block Valero's dangerous oil trains terminal.

Oil giant Valero is trying to build a massive oil trains terminal at its refinery in Benicia.

Two 50-car oil trains per day would carry toxic fracked oil and tar sands across California to the refinery, passing through Roseville, Sacramento, Davis, Fairfield and other cities before reaching their destination in Benicia.¹

If approved by the Benicia City Council, the terminal would exacerbate local air pollution in Benicia and in communities along the rail route, expose those communities to the catastrophic danger of an oil train derailment and explosion, and fuel the climate crisis by encouraging fracking and tar sands extraction.

The Benicia City Council is accepting public comments on the project until Friday. Local opposition has already delayed the project once – we need to speak out right now and demand that the city council block Valero’s dangerous oil terminal.²

Tell the Benicia City Council: Block Valero’s dangerous oil trains terminal. Submit a public comment directly to the city council.

The number of crude by rail accidents in recent years has skyrocketed. In addition to the deadly oil train explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Québec in July 2013, which killed 47 people, there have been nine major oil train explosions in the United States since the start of 2013.

In addition to the threat of deadly train derailments and explosions, Valero’s plan would worsen air quality for communities all along the rail line. In Benicia, shipping more fracked oil and tar sands to Valero’s refinery would only increase toxic refinery pollution. Further, oil trains leak dangerous chemicals, creating a toxic plume around rail lines up and down the rail route.³

With no end in sight to the record drought threatening California, there is simply no excuse for green-lighting any fossil fuel infrastructure project that will encourage the extraction of more dirty fracked oil and tar sands and exacerbating climate change.

Valero will get its way if we remain silent. Submit a public comment urging the Benicia City Council to reject Valero’s crude by rail project.

¹ Jaxon Van Derbeken, “Benicia sees cash in crude oil; neighbors see catastrophe,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 24, 2014
² Tony Bizjak, “Benicia plans more study of crude-oil train impacts,” Sacramento Bee, February 3, 2015
³ Diane Bailey, “Valero’s Promise to Benicia: We’ll only have an environmental disaster once every 111 years,” NRDC Switchboard, September 17, 2014

 

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    OPEN LETTER: Oppose Valero Crude By Rail

    Letter received by email from the author, Lawrence (Larnie) Reid Fox

    To the Benicia City Planning Commission and City Council:

    By Larnie Fox, October 12, 2015

    I’m writing to request that you oppose Valero’s Crude Oil by Rail project.

    The Revised Draft EIR states that:

      • Potential train derailment would result in significant and unavoidable adverse effects to people and secondary effects to biological, cultural, and hydrological resources, and geology.
      • Impacts to air quality would be significant and unavoidable because the Project would contribute to an existing or projected air quality violation and result in a cumulatively considerable increase in ozone precursor emissions.
      • Impacts to greenhouse gas emissions would be significant and unavoidable because the Project would generate significant levels of GHG and conflict with plans adopted for reducing GHG emissions.

    What more do you need to know?

    There have been more crude-by-rail explosions and spills in the last two years than in the previous 40 years. The new crudes are demonstrably more hazardous than the crudes that have been processed in our community in the past, and have led to many horrendous accidents in other parts of North America. Accidents can and will happen.

    The Revised Draft EIR states that Valero proposes to use non-jacketed Casualty Prevention Circular (CPC)-1232-compliant tank cars.

    The National Transportation Safety Board has said that the CPC-1232 standard is only a minimal improvement over the older tank DOT-111s. NTSB officials say they are “not convinced that these modifications offer significant safety improvements.”

    There is overwhelming and passionate opposition to the project here in Benicia. There is also strong opposition from hundreds of individuals who live up-rail and from all over our state, and also from government entities including the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and our state’s Attorney General.

    If there is a spill or an explosion and fire, I for one, do not want my community to be culpable. We need to show the state and the world that we stand for safety and environmental responsibility, even if it cuts into corporate profits and tax revenues.

    The bottom line is that fossil fuels are going away, sooner or later, and Benicia will need to adapt, sooner or later. We need to take a longer-term and wider-scope view of the issue. We may reap short-term local gains by approving this project, but the cost is unacceptably high. In doing so, we would be putting our Industrial Park at risk, and inconveniencing them with the long trains. This area should be the economic engine for the next 100 years. We would be ignoring the legitimate concerns of communities up-rail from us. We would be responsible for putting environmentally sensitive areas at risk. We would be contributing to global warming and thus sea level rise, which poses a clear threat to our community and the rest of the world as well. We would be contributing to decimation of the old-growth forests in Northern Canada.

    It’s up to us to guard our own welfare, and also, as a City, to be responsible citizens of California, the USA and our fragile planet.

    Sincerely,

    Lawrence (Larnie) Reid Fox

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      Andrés Soto letter: Not fooled by Big Oil and Big Rail

      Letter to the editor, The Benicia Herald
      [Editor: Note that letters do not appear in the online edition of the Benicia Herald.  Andrés Soto lives in Benicia and is well-known throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for his environmental justice advocacy and his mastery of the saxophone.  I particularly like Andrés’ focus on 19th century historical context.  – RS]

      Not fooled by Big Oil and Big Rail

      By Andrés Soto, July 23, 2015

      Dear Editor:

      Andres Soto
      Andrés Soto

      The recent phenomenon of transporting dangerous, volatile Bakken Crude by rail has created an opportunity for the American people to learn the true motives of Big Oil and Big Rail and what we as impacted communities can do about it.

      Continuing derailments, explosions, fires and evacuations have shined the light on the Profit At Any Cost attitude of Big Oil and Big Rail. These industries grew up together in the late 19th century and led to some of the most egregious periods of income inequality, corruption and social conflict in US history.

      Now these industries are asking us to trust them and allow them to bring Bomb Trains through our communities, putting our town’s economic viability at risk for a short-term economic gain. Exploding trains all over North America tell us a different story and we are not fooled.

      Currently, the Valero Crude By Rail Project and the Phillips 66 San Luis Obispo Crude By Rail Project both put our town at risk for a catastrophe. Communities all over the country are standing up to oppose this high risk venture by Big Oil and Big Rail. Recently, the WesPAC Crude By Rail Project in Pittsburg, California removed the rail part of the project to make it a straight pipeline project.

      Fracked Bakken Crude and strip mined Alberta Tar Sands Crude are just two of the Extreme Extracted Crude strategies by Big Oil to bring oil to market that would be better left in the ground. An intelligent global cooling plan to save our planet for future generations and all species requires the we leave the oil beneath the soil!.

      Valero has already admitted it can and is bringing Extreme Crude in by barge to the Port of Benicia, thus it does not need the Valero Crude By Rail Project to be profitable. Therefore, it begs the question: Why would we, the people of Benicia, allow this project to proceed when it is just too dangerous?

      Global warming is going to cause significant parts of Benicia to be underwater. Shouldn’t we be working on preventing that, rather than trying find ways to contribute to the problem?

      We are the people of Benicia and our voices need to be heard! The Benicia Planning Commission and the Benicia City Council have a responsibility to listen to us and do what is in the best interests of ALL Benicians. Stop Valero’s Dangerous Crude By rail Project!!!

      Andrés Soto
      Benicia, CA
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