Martinez City Council and public invited to forum on Big Oil

Repost from the Martinez News-Gazette

Big Oil In Our Midst forum scheduled

Dear Editor,

In 2013, Lac Megantic, Quebec, a town in Canada structured much like Martinez with a railway running through its downtown, suffered a devastating explosion and fire from derailed tank cars destroying much of the downtown and killing 47 people. Three proposed petrochemical projects along the Carquinez Strait from Benicia to Pittsburg to Rodeo will increase rail tank car traffic through Martinez.

I invite Mayor Rob Schroder, Councilmembers Mark Ross, Michael Menesini, Lara DeLaney and Anamarie Avila Farias and the public to attend a Community Forum: “Big Oil In Our Midst: From Canada to the Carquinez Strait,” Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 930 Ward St., Martinez. There will be a panel of experts and activists to educate local residents on Big Oil’s plans locally, regionally, and globally to expand refineries and increase the transportation of crude oil by rail and pipeline through our communities.

Speakers will include: Marilaine Savard, spokesperson for a citizen’s group in the region of Lac Megantic, Quebec; Antonia Juhasz, an oil industry analyst, journalist and author; Diane Bailey, senior scientist at the National Resource Defense Council; Marilyn Bardet, Valero Refinery watchdog activist and founding member of Benicia’s Good Neighbor Steering Committee; Nancy Reiser, spokesperson from the Crockett-Rodeo-Hercules Working Group; and Kalli Graham, Pittsburg Defense Council.

This forum is sponsored by the Sunflower Alliance, in partnership with the Sierra Club, 350bayarea, Pittsburg Defense Council, Communities for a Better Environment, ForestEthics, The Good Neighbor Steering Committee, Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community, and the Crockett-Rodeo-Hercules Working Group.

Please join the panelists for presentations, questions and answers.

– Jim Neu