2016 Stop Oil Trains Week of Action – Benicia March Sunday 7/3!

Repost from STAND.earth
[Editor:  You can observe the Stop Oil Trains Week of Action in Benicia by marching in the annual Torchlight Parade on July 3.  – RS]

Citizens Call for a Ban on Deadly Oil Trains at Events Across US and Canada

  • The 2016 Week of Action marks the third anniversary of the tragic July 6, 2013, oil train disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people.
  • On Friday, June 3, 2016, an oil train derailed in Mosier, OR, forcing the emergency evacuation of a 220 children from a school 250-yards from burning oil tank cars.
  • Oil trains have proven too dangerous for the rails: 14 major oil train derailments and fires in the past three years, yet these dangerous trains still bring millions of gallons of toxic, explosive crude oil through cities and towns across the US and Canada.
  • Each year since then communities have marked the solemn anniversary with events in dozens of cities and towns during the Stop Oil Train Week of Action.
  • July 6-12, 2016, citizens will gather again at events across the US and Canada to demand an immediate ban on oil trains. We are calling on President Obama, Congress and Governors to take three urgent steps to solve this problem.
    1. Ban oil trains: There is no safe way to transport crude oil by rail.
    2. Deny all federal permits for oil train infrastructure: Stop the oil industry from expanding oil train traffic carrying the dirtiest, most dangerous crude.
    3. Protect the authority of local governments: States, cities and citizens must have the right to say no to oil trains.Uphold the authority of our cities and towns to protect the public safety, and to ensure first responders have the necessary information and resources to respond to oil train disasters.

Oil Trains are Too Dangerous for the Rails.

  • The extreme Bakken and tar sands crude that the oil industry moves on trains is more toxic, more explosive, and more carbon-intensive than conventional oil.
  • More than 25 million Americans live in the blast zone and mining and refining this extreme oil puts  millions more Americans and Canadians at risk.
  • 14 major oil train fires in three years proves that crude oil is too dangerous for the rails. In Mosier, the tracks were inspected just days before the derailment, and only luck and a windless day kept the fire from four burning oil tank cars from reaching homes and a nearby school.
  • Oil train traffic, which was practically nonexistent seven years ago, has grown by 4,000 percent and the oil industry is proposing to further increase traffic, build more oil train terminals, and build new refinery infrastructure for dirtier crude oil carried by train.
  • We don’t need any of the extreme oil that is moving by train. The explosive Bakken and tar sands crude that moves by train is a tiny percent of US oil consumption and oil companies export five to seven times more oil each day than they move by train. So stop the trains tomorrow and our energy supply is not changed at all.
  • As we move our economy to clean energy and solve climate disruption we cannot at the same time allow oil companies to bring Bakken, tar sands and other fracked oil — the dirtiest, most dangerous sources of oil — onto the market.

Environmental Justice: Our railways were built to connect population centers, not carry hazardous materials. Decades of housing discrimination means that 60 percent of the 25 million Americans who live in the blast zone are people of color.

Note on Terminology: The term ‘crude-by-rail’ is the oil industry’s neutered term (abstract and without agency) for the dangerous, deadly, explosive oil trains they send through our cities and towns. There’s no reason to use ‘crude-by-rail’ when we can talk about the absolute danger of crude oil trains and the culpability of the oil and rail industry and regulators who send them across North America.