Don't worry, I'm not writing to tell you about another bomb train accident this week. Thankfully nothing else has exploded in the last few days as a result of Big Oil's relentless pursuit of climate-killing tar sands and Bakken oil.
But as an increasing number of towns have noticed, it's only a matter of time until the next accident. Recent articles have popped up in Los Angeles,1 Chicago2 and dozens of other cities3 questioning the wisdom of shipping volatile and explosive oil products by rail. The only one who still doesn't seem to get it is President Obama, who despite new lawsuits and meetings has still failed to issue even basic new safety rules -- let alone ban the bomb trains altogether.
Can you help us keep the pressure on by writing a letter to your local paper about the Bomb Trains? All you need to do is enter your zip code, pick a paper and we'll provide some talking points to make it simple.
If enough of us keep speaking out in the popular media, Obama will see that he can't ignore this problem any longer. He'll also see that we won't be satisfied with some promises about better brakes or thicker train cars. Big Oil has been promising to improve safety for years, but the problem is that there's just no safe way to ship these explosive extreme oil products.
Click here to write your local paper and tell them why you want to ban the Bomb Trains.
Drew and the Bomb Train disposal team at Environmental Action
P.S. No time to write a letter? No problem. Click here or use the email below to share word of this campaign on your social networks. It only takes two clicks and it makes a big difference.
1 - Ralph Vartabedian, Crude-oil train wrecks raise questions about safety claims, LA Times, March 12, 2015
2 - Josh Mogerman, Chicago: A 'Bomb Train' Kind Of Town?, Chicagoist, March 16, 2015
3 - Marianne Lavelle, 5 Ways Energy Is Transforming U.S. Railroads, Scientific American, March 16, 2015
Why is the White House listening to Big Oil about train safety while they continue to blow up our communities and put the planet at risk? Ask your friends to tell Obama's team to stop dragging their feet and ban the Bomb Trains!
I really wish this weren't true. But it is. Just hours after 105 cars of dirty oil derailed in Illinois, sending another fireball blazing into the sky and thousands of gallons of oil into the river, Big Oil and railroad CEOs sat down for tea at the White House to tell them not to require better safety measures. AND THE WHITE HOUSE IS LISTENING!1
Look, I'm not surprised Big Oil is willing to risk people's lives and pollute our water, air and climate so they can make a quick buck. That's what we've come to expect from an industry that routinely kills workers in rig explosions,2 spills toxic waste into our water ways,3 plans it's future investments to destroy the climate4 and lobbies Congress to get a tax break for it all.
What's shocking about this news is that the White house, so far at least, has decided to listen to Big Oil instead of cracking down on the shipments of crude oil by rail - so called Bomb Trains.
You've already told the White House to stop waiting and start acting. Can you ask your friends to do the same? Together, we'll tell Barack Obama and his team to get off the slow line, and take express action to ban the Bomb Trains!
Last year Obama's team had a chance to crack down on Bomb Trains - which are more likely to explode because they're carrying volatile, tar-sands style oil from the Bakken fields or Canada. But the White House rejected the plan and let North Dakota regulators (who are known to be in the pockets of frackers and Big Oil barons)5 write the rules.6
And now, after a year of further study, they're still dragging their feet on basic safety and environmental protections, while even Canada (home to most of the dirty Tar Sands Oil) is moving ahead with tougher rules.7
I don't know what Big Oil is saying, or paying, to keep shipping their dirty fracked oil through our towns. But I know we have to stop it fast - we've seen three derailments in the last month alone and spilled more oil from trains in the past few months than in the previous 40 years combined! If we don't act fast, we know another spill is coming soon. But if the White House takes decisive action to ban shipments of crude oil by rail, we'll slow down the extraction of dirty oil all over North America, and be one step closer to leaving fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.
Forward this email or click here to tell friends that it's time to shake Obama out of his stupor and demand he act immediately to ban the Bomb Trains.
Drew and the ban the Bomb Train team
1 - Valerie Volcovici and Patrick Rucker, Rail industry pushes White House to ease oil train safety rules, Reuters, March 11, 2015
2 - Associated Press, 3 workers killed in West Texas oil field rig explosion, March 11, 2015
3 - Chris Megerian, California orders 12 oil-field wells shut to protect groundwater, LA Times, March 3, 2015
4 - James Gerken, Shell CEO Says Industry Needs To Be Less Aloof In Climate Change Conversation, The Huffington Post, February 12, 2015
5 - Deborah Sontag and Robert Gebloff, The Downside of the Boom, The New York Times, November 22, 2014
6 - Patrick Rucker,White House deferred to N. Dakota on oil train safety, Reuters, March 6, 2015
7 - Randall Palmer, Canada toughens oil tank car standards, wants even new ones out by 2025, Reuters, March 11, 2015