Why continue to transport crude?

Times Union | May 11, 2015 | LTE by Sandy Steubing

As always, I appreciate the Times Union reporting on the volatile Bakken crude that comes into our city.

The article “A risky cargo on the Hudson River,” April 26, is no exception to the ongoing education this paper is providing.

It was scary to read about the high number of tugboat accidents and to learn these vessels are never inspected.

Through the many fiery rail derailments, Bakken crude has now gained notoriety due to its extreme volatility and toxicity. This hazard does not dissipate just because the material is shipped on a barge instead of a train.

The derailment in Lynchburg, Va., last year showed us how easily rivers can catch on fire from this type of crude. During the Mississippi River spill described in the article, the Coast Guard was wise to wait 12 hours before approaching the oil. After that wait, it is understandable only a tiny percentage of the oil was recovered. Is this what we want for the Hudson River?

According to Oil Change International, only “5.1 percent of total U.S. petroleum consumption” is shipped by rail; less than that is brought to the refineries on our rivers.

Why are we subjecting ourselves and the natural environment to such risk? Why do we continue to increase green house gasses when we could and should just stop the transport of Bakken crude?

With catastrophic climate change breathing down our necks, moving with alacrity toward renewable sources of energy is the only thing that makes sense.

Sandy Steubing

Spokesperson, People of Albany United for Safe Energy




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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.