Explosions only a matter of when

Times Union | March 15, 2015 | LTE by Sandy Steubing

After the recent West Virginia and Ontario, Canada, explosive derailments, the last thing I wanted to read was The Associated Press article “More oil train crashes predicted,” Feb. 23.

Of course, not each of the estimated 10 derailments per year will explode – only some of them.

I have difficulty imagining how we’re going to regulate our way to safety because of the many factors involved. Volatile Bakken crude plus fragile rail cars plus broken tracks plus decrepit bridges plus human error plus climate-changed weather plus terrorism equals no margin for error.

The result too often consists of spills and toxic waste, polluted rivers and ecosystems, lowered property values, increased environmental injustice, astronomical cleanup costs, injuries and loss of life, destroyed municipalities and catastrophic climate change.

Here is a scary quote from the author of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, Larry Mann: “It may not happen today or tomorrow, but one day a town or a city is going to get wiped out.” The Cuomo administration can use its summary abatement authority under the Environmental Conservation Law to immediately stop crude oil by rail.

Given that Albany County receives 600 carloads of crude oil each day, why aren’t they doing this?

Sandy Steubing

Spokesman, People of Albany United for Safe Energy



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Explosions only a matter of when
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.