Protest for safer crude oil transportation in Albany

WTEN | July 7, 2014 | Column by Liz Holliday

ALBANY, N.Y –  One year after the derailment of a crude oil train killed dozens of people in Canada, Albany residents gathered to protest crude oil trains in the Port of Albany and the proposed heating facilities.

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, suffered the loss of 40 people after the train derailment in 2013. On Sunday, one year after the massive explosion, residents in Albany and members of People of Albany United for Safe Energy, or PAUSE, gathered in protest. Those who came out on the one year anniversary hope their home won’t be the next location to suffer from a similar tragedy.
The wreckage from the incident not only took lives, but it also flattened 30 buildings.
Protestors in Albany say it is the same oil from this accident that is brought into the Port of Albany every day.
Erza Prentice Apartments lies in close proximity to the Port of Albany tracks. Residents from the complex voiced their concern about their homes being located so close to the dangers of crude oil.
Bebe White, a resident of the Erza Prentice Apartments, said he began to worry about his home after hearing about the tragedy in Canada.
“When everything started blowing up, I started paying attention then,” said White.
Protestors from Sunday’s event held a picture of fallen Canadians with the words “It could happen here”.
“Bakken Crude, that exploded and killed those people, is the same material and the same substance that we have here coming 200 cars a day,” said Sandy Steubing a spokesperson for PAUSE.
The rail company in charge of the oil tankards told residents that after the 2013 incident, they plan to be more aggressive with public safety.
However, residents of Erza Prentice Apartments say that promises don’t go far enough. Those who live at the apartment believe they need to be relocated, or a need more safe transportation routes for the trains.

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@PAUSEnergy tweeted this page. 2014-07-07 14:23:54 -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.