Vigil will mark oil train disaster anniversary

Times Union | July 2, 2014 | Column by Jack Curran

Albany activists plan to commemorate victims of explosion in Canada


Activists will gather on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Quebec oil train disaster that killed 47 people.

People of Albany United for Safe Energy, AVillage and St. John's Church of God in Christwill hold a vigil for the victims of the Lac-Megantic explosion at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ezra Prentice basketball court at 625 S. Pearl St. in Albany. The event will feature songs, readings and guest speakers, including the Rev.McKinley Johnson, Councilwoman Vivian Kornegay and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

Participants will read the names of the victims and display their photos, said Sandy Steubing of PAUSE. Steubing said PAUSE is working with Forest Ethics, a nonprofit group with offices in California and Washington state, as part of the group's Oil by Rail Week of Action. The week includes events across the country to commemorate the deaths in Lac-Megantic last year.

Several blocks were destroyed last July 6 in Lac-Megantic when a crude oil train that had been parked for the night rolled downhill into the center of town and exploded. The train had been carrying Bakken crude oil from North Dakota, which is also shipped through the Port of Albany.

Since the disaster, Albany lawmakers have pushed for tougher safety regulations for handling Bakken crude, which regulators have warned is more flammable than initially thought.

Steubing said the Week of Action is about remembering the victims of Lac-Megantic and calling for the elimination of oil trains.

"These trains just don't belong, in my opinion, anywhere, but especially not in a populated area," she said.

Similar events will be held in Buffalo, Hudson, Plattsburgh, Saratoga Springs, Saugerties and Syracuse.

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commented 2014-07-08 15:26:44 -0400 · Flag
Great job, PAUSE! I heard excellent coverage of this action on the radio. I’m linking to our action in Philadelphia Weds. July 9th at noon, and would love to see a post from you with links to the press coverage you receive. Let’s keep building the movement to stop the oil bomb trains locally, regionally, nationally and across the border in Canada. Keep up the good work.
@PAUSEnergy tweeted this page. 2014-07-03 16:02:31 -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.