Check out the video op-ed from the New York Times on the dangers of bomb trains, and then tell everyone to sign on and ban the shipment of volatile crude oil by rail -- the only way to protect our towns, and our planet, is to leave this extreme energy in the ground.
This could be big. For months, we've been calling on President Obama and his team at the Department of Transportation to ban rail shipments of explosive fracked oil and tar sands. Now, the paper of record has taken notice and produced an excellent, gripping and entirely terrifying 5 minute video about the Bomb trains.
Click here to see the video for yourself, and then sign on to tell President Obama and Transportation Secretary Foxx that it's time to ban the bomb trains, leave extreme energy in the ground, and focus on clean alternatives.
This is just the most recent (and most telegenic) article about the Bomb Train epidemic. There have already been major articles 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.
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 instead let North Dakota regulators (who are known to be in the pockets of frackers and Big Oil barons)4 write the rules.5 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.6
To add insult to injury, 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.7
We need the President and his advisers to focus on real alternatives like wind and solar power fast. Our climate simply cannot afford for us to dig up and burn all this extreme energy. But Big Oil companies are making huge profits pushing our climate over the edge, and a key part of their business plan is to get dirty oil from central Canada and America out to the coasts where it can be refined and sold to foreign markets. If we block the bomb trains, and keep Keystone XL and other big pipelines bottled up, we'll make that impossible and force our energy economy to take a cleaner turn.
This New York Times Op-Doc will help us make the case that there's no such thing as a safe oil train, and no safe path for our climate unless we leave these fossil fuels in the ground. Click here to see the story, and sign on in support.
Drew and the bomb-train-disposal crew at Environmental Action
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
4 - Deborah Sontag and Robert Gebloff, The Downside of the Boom, The New York Times, November 22, 2014
5 - Patrick Rucker,White House deferred to N. Dakota on oil train safety, Reuters, March 6, 2015
6 - Randall Palmer, Canada toughens oil tank car standards, wants even new ones out by 2025, Reuters, March 11, 2015
7 - Valerie Volcovici and Patrick Rucker, Rail industry pushes White House to ease oil train safety rules, Reuters, March 11, 2015