In the news:
6 OCT 2016:
From The Sacramento Bee: Oil company dealt another blow on plan to ship crude by train, Tony Bizjak.
20 SEPT 2016:
From The Sacramento Bee: Benicia nixes Valero's plan to run crude oil trains through Sacramento, Davis and Roseville, Tony Bizjak.
8 JUNE 2016:
From Climate Progress: 'They Did Everything They Could Have Done': The Tragedy Of The Oregon Oil Derailment, Natasha Geiling.
3 APR 2016:
From The Sacramento Bee: California, clean fuel leader, weighs oil, coal trains, Tony Bizjak.
14 MAR 2016:
From The Sacramento Bee: OpEd: Benicia should block oil trains, Tom Steyer & Steve Young.
11 JULY 2015:
8 MAR 2015: *News coverage of Saturday's Stop Oil Trains event in Sacramento: http://fox40.com/2015/07/11/dozens-gather-to-protest-trains-carrying-toxic-oils-through-sacramento/
8 MAR 2015:
From The Benicia Independent: Gogoma derailment - 35 oil tanker cars go off rails - 5 of them into the Makami River, Roger Straw.
6 MAR 2015:
From The Benicia Independent: Oil train tank cars derail in Illinois; involved "safer" models, Roger Straw.
6 MAR 2015:
From The Benicia Independent: Live TV news coverage: Galena derailment--video of fire and explosions, Roger Straw; Update: Photo of derailment, smoke and fire near Galena IL, Roger Straw. Coverage from KWQC TV 6, Mark Stevens.
19 FEB 2015:
From The Benicia Independent: What We Know Three Days After the Fayette Co. Oil Train Derailment, Dave Mistich.
17 FEB 2015:
From Climate Progress: West Virginia In State Of Emergency After Massive Oil Train Explosion, Emily Atkin.
16 FEB 2015:
From Daily Kos: Two trains carrying crude oil derail and burn in the past three days, in West Virginia and Ontario, Meteor Blades.
6 JAN 2015:
From The Sacramento Bee: Number of train cars derailed in Antelope now set at 7, Bill Lindelof.
6 JAN 2015:
News 10 video:
Train derailment stirs up oil train concerns
note: segment includes interview w/ Laurie Litman, 350 Sacramento
14 NOV 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Sacramento leaders call for more crude-oil train safety, Tony Bizjak.
23 OCT 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: New crude oil report concludes risks of oil spills are real, Tony Bizjak.
9 OCT 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Editorial: California makes progress on train safety by inspecting railroad bridges, Editorial Board.
8 OCT 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Railroads sue California over new crude oil rules, Tony Bizjak.
23 SEPT 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Sacramento air quality officials sued over crude oil trains, Tony Bizjak.
24 SEPT 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Air quality officials sued over crude oil trains, The Associated Press.
24 AUG 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Kern County mounts defense of oil train shipments, Tony Bizjak and Curtis Tate.
18 AUG 2014:
Local Letter to the Editor:
From The Sacramento Bee: Safety first, Susan Vogt, Davis. Re: Reheis-Boyd op-ed on oil trains, Aug 16.
16 AUG 2014:
Local Letter to the Editor:
From The Sacramento Bee: Both wrong regarding oil trains, Stephen Saffold, Sacramento. Re: Reheis-Boyd op-ed on oil trains, Aug 16.
16 AUG 2014:
Local Letter to the Editor:
From The Sacramento Bee: Minimizing risks of climate change, Tom Monteith, Sacramento. Re: Reheis-Boyd op-ed on oil trains, Aug 16; revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend.
16 AUG 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Viewpoints: Oil trains are necessary and their risks can be minimized, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association. No mention by Reheis-Boyd of climate change in op-ed.
10 AUG 2014:
Local Letter to the Editor:
From The Sacramento Bee: Odds of oil fire, Stephen Saffold, Sacramento.
10 AUG 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Chances of a crude oil train fire are low but mounting in Sacramento, Tony Bizjak.
6 AUG 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Sacramento leaders: Risk of oil train explosions needs to be acknowledged, Tony Bizjak.
25 JULY 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Editorial: Safety rules for oil trains finally getting on track, Editorial Board.
22 JULY 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Feds propose phasing out older crude-oil train tank cars, Curtis Tate & Tony Bizjak.
12 JULY 2014: crude-oil trains through Sacramento region:
From The Sacramento Bee: Benicia OKs Sacramento request for more time to review crude oil rail shipment plans, Tony Bizjak.
8 & 9 JULY 2014:
Oil Train Protests in Sacramento & Davis--see to right for coverage.
4 JULY 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: New map shows California emergency teams not in best position for oil train response, Curtis Tate.
17 JUNE 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Report minimizes risk from oil trains through Sacramento, Roseville, Tony Bizjak and Curtis Tate.
16 JUNE 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: California to impose fee on crude oil shipments; funds to be used for spill prevention, cleanup, Tony Bizjak.
15 JUNE 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Details about crude oil rail shipments shrouded in secrecy, Tony Bizjak and Curtis Tate.
11 JUNE 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Editorial: Information on oil trains can't be sidetracked, Editorial Board.
9 JUNE 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: The Public Eye: Fight over crude-oil transports through California intensifies, Tony Bizjak.
8 JUNE 2014: Local Op-Ed:
From The Davis Enterprise, Op-ed: Crude-oil trains through Davis: It's time for action, Lynne Nittler.
7 JUNE 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Crude oil rail transports to run through Sacramento region, Tony Bizjak.
27 MAY 2014:
From Oil Change International: Pipelines vs. Rail: A False Choice, Lorne Stockman.
3 APR 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Editorial: Oil trains require more safety and scrutiny, Bee Editorial Board.
2 APR 2014:
From The Sacramento Bee: Refinery plans to ship 100 train cars of crude oil through Sacramento, Tony Bizjak and Curtis Tate.
12 JAN 2014:
From The Davis Enterprise: More crude-by-rail trains put Davis at risk, op-ed by Lynne Nittler, Milton Kalish and Matt Biers-Ariel.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO:
Re: Valero Crude-By-Rail Project, Benicia, CA
Oil train protests on July 8 & 9
On Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 350 Sacramento organized a protest in commemoration of the tragedy in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, when an oil train derailed and exploded, killing 47 people and destroying a large part of the downtown. These oil trains are coming through Sacramento. In a few years, if we don't stop them, there are expected to be six to eight 100-car trains coming through town each day! In addition to the extreme danger in case of explosion or spill, these fossil fuels are exacerbating climate change. We say, “keep it in the ground!"
The program was held in front of the Federal Railroad Administration building, and included short presentations by Laurie Litman, 350 Sac; Lynne Nittler, Yolano Climate Action; and Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, who has a bill to improve oil train transparency and safety. There was an excellent media presence and we know about coverage of the event in the Sac Bee, Merced Sun-Star, Capital Public Radio, Fox News 40, KTXL, KTVU, KCRW, KGET, KION, KOVR, KXJZ-FM, and KMAX. A SF Chronicle reporter tweeted the event. Wow! [See links to all media coverage below.] 350 Sac signed on to the letter below [pdf] from NRDC to the California Energy Commission with suggestions on what California can do to improve rail safety. These suggestions go beyond what the state is currently considering.
The Draft EIR on expanding the Valero Rail Terminal in Benicia is now available and the public review period was extended to September 15. It's very important to get public comments on record to help stop these trains; please consider writing one. We may organize a workshop about how to respond to the DEIR--let us know if you would be interested. For more information go to http://yolanoclimateaction.
July 6-13--Oil by Rail Week of Action "This July 6th - 13th, rise with Lac-Megantic, Quebec, to send the message: Keep the Oil Off the Rails and In the Ground! Coming from residents in Lac-Megantic, this call to action is echoed by grassroots activists across North America along with ForestEthics, 350.org, Oil Change International and the Sierra Club."
Local Events--Sacto & Davis:
July 8--Oil Train Protest, 4-7 pm, Davis Amtrak Station.
July 8--Crude-by-rail EIR Response Workshop, 7-9 pm, The Blanchard Room at the Davis Branch Library.
July 9--Oil Train Protest, 12 noon-1pm, Federal Railroad Administration building at 8th & I St.
July 9--Oil Train Protest, 4-7 pm, Davis Amtrak Station.
*From Metronews: A year on, train crash still echoes in rebuilding Lac-Megantic, Andy Blanchford, The Canadian Press; July 2, 2014.
Responding to Draft Environmental Impact Report
Crude-by-Rail Trains through Davis
Wednesday, June 18
Fellowship Hall of Davis Community Church (421 D Street)
Instruction, brainstorming, and organizing
The Draft EIR for the Valero rail terminal Project in Benicia (70,000 barrels of crude oil /day or 100 cars/day) will be released for a 45-day public comment period on June 10, with a possible extension to 60 or 90 days for review. Watch www.yolanoclimateaction for a link to the DEIR Report on June 10th.
Our city will definitely submit written comments, and they have invited surrounding jurisdictions to join them. Other organizations and concerned individuals are also encouraged to make written comments during the review period. To inform yourself about the project and begin thinking how you might respond, some recommended resources follow.
On June 18, Mike Webb, director of community development and sustainability for Davis assigned to the crude-by-rail issue, will provide an overview of the EIR process and ways to respond. Afterwards, we will take a look at the EIR document and consider the most effective ways to respond to the text as up-rail residents.
· Sacramento Bee story from June 7 by Tony Bizjak gives a local update.
[From The Sacramento Bee: Crude oil rail transports to run through Sacramento region, Tony Bizjak.]
· The Enterprise op-ed from June 8 gives an overview on developments in Davis.
· http://www.priceofoil.org/rail New Report: Runaway Train: The Reckless Expansion of Crude By Rail in North America is the first in a series, exposing North America’s booming crude-by-rail industry. It is published in conjunction with the launch of a unique interactive online map of crude-by-rail terminals and potential routes in North America. Excellent!
· http://www.beniciaindependent.com Find posts of all the official documents related to the proposed project as well as a plethora of articles
· http://www.sightline.org is also a terrific resource for the bigger picture of crude-by-rail and also coal and natural gas export. http://www.sightline.org/research/the-northwests-pipeline-on-rails/ and http://daily.sightline.org/blog_series
This blog series is outstanding, although it is aimed at Washington and Oregon which are besieged by trains compared to CA so far.
· Natural Resources Defense Council letter on safety (30 pages)
· Two reports by Forest Ethics:
report.pdf and http://forestethics.org//sites/forestethics.huang.radicaldesigns.org/files/ForestEthics-Refineries-Report-
· Document by Attorney General Kamala Harris on safety and health concerns.
· An article on liability, possibly an angle that will not be addressed adequately in the DEIR.
Gov. Brown added $6.7 million to the Office of Spill Prevention & Response to handle accidents. It won't go far in a
· More on risk assessment for railroads and who will be responsible for liability.
· Rachel Maddow's May 2, 2014 broadcast, “Public Safety at risk by Oil Train Shipments” at http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-
Key areas our up-rail responses may include:
· public safety (There is still little coming out of PHMSA (DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) or FRA
(U.S. Federal Railroad Administration) or DOT (Department of Transportation) at the federal level, so states and cities are on their own.)
· the environmental hazards of spills,
· the industry exemption from the Right-to-know laws,
· health risks,
· conflicts of interest for the use of the rails (Capital Corridor commutes)
· lack of adequate liability coverage for accidents and spills, and
· the impact on climate change
The city of Benicia has to respond to all comments in their final EIR, so the more specific, thoughtful and numerous our comments, the better. Different people can address different aspects.
Another opportunity for citizen response: We expect the Draft EIR for the Phillips 66 Santa Maria refinery in San Luis Obispo County for a rail spur for daily oil trains of 80 cars per week to be released this summer, possibly in July.
See you June 18. Please bring a friend!
Contact Lynne Nittler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-756-8110 for questions.
OIL TRAINS THROUGH SACRAMENTO/DAVIS: More oil was spilled from trains in 2013 than the last 40 years combined. Here, in 3.5 minutes, is the story: "Video: How Oil Trains Put the Northwest At Risk". These are the trains that are going through Sacramento. We will have more information about actions to stop the oil trains soon.
[Jan. 2014] You have probably heard about several recent train accidents, including one in Quebec with a massive fireball that killed 47 people and an accident a couple of weeks ago in North Dakota that caused a town to be evacuated. What you may not know is that these same trains are traveling through Sacramento to oil refineries in the Bay Area and numbers are expected to skyrocket this year. 350 Sacramento and others are working to find ways to stop these dangerous shipments of Bakken Shale and tar sands oil. Stay tuned for action on this issue. -Laurie
Public discussion: oil by rail through Davis
Local residents can join the public discussion of crude-by-rail trains rolling through Davis at the city’s Natural Resources Commission meeting on Monday, January 27th at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.
There will be a brief informational presentation with photos including an explanation of the Benicia Valero proposal to build a rail terminal that will allow rail deliveries of 70,000 barrels per day, most likely of Bakken oil from North Dakota. That means 100 sixty-foot tank cars crossing the Yolo Causeway and coming down Second Street into downtown Davis before heading out toward Dixon.
Discussion of key concerns will focus on the unsafe, old DOT-111 cars that are prone to puncture on impact, the highly flammable and corrosive nature of the Bakken crude, the rapidly increasing number of unit trains headed to the Bay Area, and what up-rail communities like Davis can do to voice their concerns.
We have a window of opportunity as individuals and as a city to respond in writing to the Benicia Valero Draft EIR when it is made public soon. We will post a link to the DEIR on our website when it is available with directions on how to send your response.
For more information, visit www.yolanoclimateaction.org Email Lynne Nittler at email@example.com with questions.
Please spread the word about this open community forum of the issue that is a major safety concern for cities and towns on rail lines across the country.
Together, we can have a voice.
P.S. Visit www.beniciaindependent.com for a collection of articles and information.
P.P.S. Consider biking, walking or busing to the public discussion.
Monday, January 27--Davis Natural Resources Commission (NRC) Meeting, 6:30pm, City Hall, Davis. "The Davis Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has added crude-by-rail transport and comments for the Benicia Valero EIR to their January 27th meeting agenda at City Chambers at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to join in the discussion" - Milton.