Rally on Lac Megantic disaster anniversary in Albany

Times Union | July 6, 2015 | Post by Eric Anderson

Between 80 and 100 people, many affiliated with People of Albany United for Safe Energy, rallied in front of the Governor’s Mansion on Eagle Street in Albany at noon Monday, calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban oil train traffic in the state.

Oil train opponents rally in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Albany Monday.

The rally also marked the second anniversary of the Lac Megantic oil train derailment and explosion that killed 47 people and destroyed the center of the small Quebec town.

That train’s destination was the Irving Oil Co. refinery in St. John, New Brunswick, where it was to unload its cargo of fracked crude from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota.

The Port of Albany has become a major transshipment point for Bakken crude to refineries up and down the East Coast, with at least some of that oil also destined for the Irving Oil refinery.

Several speakers at Monday’s event called for a shift to renewable energy sources from fossil fuels.

“We have to transition our economy completely off fossil fuels,” said one speaker, Neely Kelley, lead organizer of Mothers Out Front, which seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change.

“Governor Cuomo, you have a moral imperative to take the climate seriously,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York.

PAUSE has sought to have oil trains, some of which are parked next to the backyards of residents of Ezra Prentice apartments in Albany, prohibited. State officials have said they haven’t the power to regulate railroads, that it’s a federal responsibility.

But activists have said that state officials could declare the oil trains an “imminent hazard” and ban them.

Whether Gov. Cuomo heard the protesters’ message Monday wasn’t clear. The governor was in New York City.


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commented 2015-07-06 21:25:50 -0400 · Flag
Are we next? What will it take to stop this dangerous oil-by-rail? Isn’t it time to recognize the future we face if we don’t leave it in the ground?
commented 2015-07-06 16:33:40 -0400 · Flag
The Governor is hard of hearing but we just have to be persistent like we were today. The only thing he’ll respond to is a critical mass like in the fracking decision. (for natural gas; this is fracked oil we’re opposing.) We’ll get there. My hearty thanks to everyone who turned out; it was a great rally! :)
commented 2015-07-06 15:38:16 -0400 · Flag
The Governor heard us, he knows the right thing to do, he just won’t do it.
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy posted about Rally on Lac Megantic disaster anniversary in Albany on PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy's Facebook page 2015-07-06 15:14:18 -0400
Rally on Lac Megantic disaster anniversary in Albany
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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.