Ralliers outside governor's office call for 'bomb train' ban

WNYT | May 7, 2015 | Report by Abigail Bleck

ALBANY - Governor Andrew Cuomo likely receives a lot of mail.

However, on Thursday an attempt was made to hand deliver a letter to the Executive Mansion.

If you're Andrew Cuomo, you're only as good as your last decision and the group “People of Albany United for Safe Energy,” or PAUSE that was thanking the governor for his fracking ban, returned to their main mission -- a bomb train ban.

The rally outside the Governor's Mansion in Albany’s South End is just blocks from where the so-called bomb trains are stored and where they travel the rails on their way to and from the Albany port.

“We are unsafe. We have millions of gallons of oil coming in to Albany every day,” argued Sandy Steubing of PAUSE.

The group’s protest Thursday comes one day after six oil cars caught fire and exploded in North Dakota. The town was evacuated and no one was hurt, but each derailment -- five in as many months -- highlights the need, believe activists, for an oil train ban in New York.

“It is no longer a matter of if, but when. Joins in doing everything you possibly can to eliminate the 'when' from our lives,” urged Andrew Tarwerdi, also of PAUSE.

Last week the federal government announced new rules which it maintains will strengthen the safe transportation of flammable liquids by rail. The oil and rail industry has already announced it will challenge the rules in court.

“The derailment is a wakeup call that the industry needs to work on a solution and stop fighting the changes,” declared New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

The pause activists don't think the federal regulations go far enough, soon enough, anyway. The hope is their letter, delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo will convince New York to ban bomb trains

“Are we going to continue to let these trains explode and ruin our communities and kill our people,” asked Wille White, a South End advocate.

It's important to note that in North Dakota, it was a really small town, only about 20 people had to be evacuated.

If there were an explosion in Albany, during the day when all the commuters are in town, the evacuation numbers would be in the thousands.

The state trooper outside the Governor's Mansion said he could not take the letter.

So, it will have to be mailed after all.

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Showing 4 reactions

commented 2015-05-07 23:29:08 -0400 · Flag
The Cuomo administration could stop these trains if they wanted but rather hide behind federal preemption. The choice is between an eventual catastrophe and getting sued. They are the wimps and we pay the price.
commented 2015-05-07 22:58:17 -0400 · Flag
It’s an Moral issue, ( these trains run through Environmental Justice neighborhoods; an economic issue, green jobs create 3 x as many jobs as the fossil fuel industry; and an environmental issue, we HAVE to keep the fossil fuels in the ground or this planet will be toast. What kind of issue does it need to be for Cuomo to do something about it?
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy posted about Ralliers outside governor's office call for 'bomb train' ban on PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy's Facebook page 2015-05-07 22:51:11 -0400
Ralliers outside governor's office call for 'bomb train' ban
@PAUSEnergy tweeted this page. 2015-05-07 22:51:07 -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.