KGO 810 Radio: Benicia Community Groups Oppose Oil-by-Rail Plan on Safety Grounds

Repost from KGO 810 Radio, The Bay Area’s News & Information Station
[Editor: the online text below has some misquotes.  The video is MUCH better.  Good interview comments by Andrés Soto of Benicians For a Safe and Healthy Community.  – RS

Benicia Community Groups Oppose Oil-by-Rail Plan on Safety Grounds

Railroad tracks (morguefile)

BENICIA (KGO) – The issue of rail safety is front-and-center in Solano County as officials consider a plan to allow oil-carrying trains to pass through the region.

The controversy surrounds a proposal by the Valero’s Benicia refinery. Refinery officials want to begin transporting crude oil to the city via railroad tanker car. The refinery currently receives crude by ship.

“We believe that it presents a clear and present danger to both the physical and economic futures[s] of the city,” says Andre Soto, a member of Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community, one of several groups opposing the endeavor.

“Crude by rail, as delivered by the railroad companies right now, has a terrible record of catastrophic explosions, mostly due to derailment,” says Soto.

Solano County Supervisor Linda Seifert is hosting community meetings to discuss preparedness and response.

“The chances are [oil] is going to come through in greater quantities than [it] has in the past. Regulatory and schemes and ensuring that the public is safe is absolutely essential,” she says.