Oil trains offer serious problems in Albany

Times Union | April 6, 2014 | LTE by Jessica R. Semon

Thank you for continued coverage of Global Partners proposed boiler and the oil trains in Albany. This is serious for Albany and other areas near these “rolling pipelines.” The costs of a rail disaster near the Port of Albany would be insurmountable.

Global Partners’ announcement to rescind its application for a permit to build a new boiler does not mean they are leaving town. Instead, the company plans to renovate an existing building. The city would have to approve these renovations first.

The inconvenience to the oil industry that the citizens and government officials of the city, county and state pose with their resistance to “bomb trains” reminds me of the quip from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “but I’m not dead yet.”
According to Columbia University Professor James Hansen, we cannot preserve life on this planet without significant reduction in carbon emissions. Fossil fuels go, or we go. It’s time to make changes. Renewable energy can, and will, provide all of New York’s energy.

As an environmentalist and resident of Albany just blocks beyond the “blast zone,” I’m concerned about this situation. Residents throughout the state can reach out to the state Department of Environmental Conservation requesting an environmental impact study and to all levels of government requesting protection of environmental justice areas, improved rail safety standards, improved air quality monitoring and enforcement, a requirement for insurance bonds from oil companies that would cover the entire cost of another disaster, and a ban on oil by rail.
Jessica R. Semon


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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.