April 01, 2015
Contact: Sandra Steubing

Protect the People Rally (release)

At noon today, on the sidewalk in front of Albany City Hall on Eagle St., peace demonstrators will be joining PAUSE to object to the continued presence of explosive crude oil trains in Albany. This past winter we saw four explosive derailments, one after another, in the span of a month. There have now been nine crude oil explosions since July of 2013. In chronological order they are: July of 2013 when a train carrying explosive Bakken crude oil from North Dakota derailed causing the deaths of 47 people, November, 2013 in Aliceville, AL., December, 2013 in Casselton, North Dakota, January 2014 in New Brunswick, Canada, April 2014 in Lynchburg, VA., February 14, 2015 in Timmins, Ontario, Canada, February 16, 2015 in Mount Carbon, WVA, March 5, 2015 in Galena, IL., March 7, 2015 in Gogama, Ontario Canada. Because Albany is a hub for at least 25% of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota, this same catastrophe could happen here.

Sandy Steubing, spokesperson for PAUSE states “We’re putting thousands of New Yorkers and the environment at risk to transport just 5% of our total US oil consumption. Leave it in the ground. As Naomi Klein wrote in her book This Changes Everything, ‘We are living on a planet that is dying and we keep killing it.’ ”

Maud Easter of Grannies for Peace - “The world’s single biggest consumer of the fossil fuels that are destabilizing our planet is the Pentagon. We don’t wanted oil trains coming through Albany to add to climate destruction and supply America’s endless wars”

Pete Looker, also of PAUSE and Schenectady Neighbors for Peace - “I see hundreds of rail cars each day through my window, knowing we and our local schools are within the one-mile blast zone from which our emergency responders can only try to evacuate people. A courageous governor would stand up for us against big oil, using Summary Abatement powers, (as Mario Cuomo did to stop unsafe oil barges) and immediately halt these bomb trains.”

The US Dept. of Transportation the Department of Transportation is now predicting an average of 10 crude oil train derailments per year. Prior to the Canadian derailments this past winter, the assumption was that tar sands would not explode. We now know this is not true. On March 11, 2015, Andy Rowell of Oil Change International stated “These explosions have huge implications for the safety of tar sands crude-by-rail… Put simply, the diluent in dilbit makes dilbit just as explosive as Bakken crude. In an October 16, 2014 letter from Mr. Thomas Keefe, VP of Environmental, Health and Safety Operations for Global Partners to Mr. William Clarke of the Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Mr. Keefe writes “To reduce viscosity and improve flow characteristics, lighter end petroleum hydrocarbon are blended into certain crude oils." (Ceratin crude oils means the tar sands.) It is not just the Bakken that can turn our city into a fireball.

We will always have human error and mechanical failures; there will always be train derailments. However, there can be no margin for error with a substance that is this hazardous. An energy feasibility study from Stanford and Cornell concludes that New York can derive 100% of its energy needs including transportation from the renewable sources of wind, water, and solar. http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/NewYorkWWSEnPolicy.pdf. Dr. Robert Pollin from the Political Economy Research Inst. of UMass Amherst has found that for a million dollar investment we can achieve five oil/gas jobs or thirteen solar jobs. http:// www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/Green_Growth_2014/GreenGrowthReport-PERISept2014.pdf. Let us move away from a 19th century mode of transportation, carrying a 20th century energy source, into the 21st century of renewables.

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@PAUSEnergy tweeted this page. 2015-04-01 15:15:59 -0400
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy posted about Protect the People Rally (release) on PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy's Facebook page 2015-04-01 15:15:59 -0400
Protect the People Rally (release)
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.