Oil train activists mark second anniversary of Lac-Megantic explosion

The Legislative Gazette | July 6, 2015 | Column by Nick Musacavge

Two years ago Monday, 47 people died in Lac-Megantic, Quebec when 63 train cars carrying crude oil toppled off of the rails and exploded midnight. Today, about forty activists marched on Eagle Street outside the Governor's Mansion in remembrance of those lost in the accident while also protesting the use of oil train cars in New York.

Environmental activists march outside the governor's mansion in Albany. Photo by Karla Coté, Legislative Gazette.

In the two years since the explosion in Lac-Megantic, there have been nine other explosions due to crude oil-train transportation in North America, according to Sandy Steubing, an anti-oil-train activist for People of Albany United for Safe Energy (PAUSE).

After photos of the 47 people killed in the Lac-Megantic explosion were hung along the fence and a moment of silence was given to them, the activists also urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take action on oil-train transport cars, which the activists refer to as "bomb trains."

The activists said Cuomo made the right choice by banning fracking in the state and now it is time for him to take a stance on oil-trains.

Pete Looker, who spoke first at the memorial ceremony, was dressed as a "water spirit" and draped in an aqua-blue head dress. He referred to the numerous renewable energy sources that could be utilized as an alternative to crude oil and other fossil fuels. He listed water, wind and the sun as all viable options.

Dominick Calsolaro of PAUSE said, "It is time for Governor Cuomo and [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation] Commissioner Martens to take drastic action and ban crude oil-carrying trains from traveling through New York state." 


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commented 2015-07-06 21:29:18 -0400 · Flag
Forty Seven died in a river of burning oil coursing through the sewers of Lac Megantic, and one firefighter — new on the job — committed suicide after witnessing the aftermath. And now the railroad is scapegoating the engineer, when he was ordered to park on the hill and turn off the engines, thus turning off the brakes. The rest is history.
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy posted about Oil train activists mark second anniversary of Lac-Megantic explosion on PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy's Facebook page 2015-07-06 15:19:05 -0400
Oil train activists mark second anniversary of Lac-Megantic explosion
@PAUSEnergy tweeted this page. 2015-07-06 15:19:01 -0400
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.