Monday, July 6, marks the second anniversary of the tragic Lac Mégantic, Quebec, oil train catastrophe that killed 47 people in 2013. Despite dozens of almost as horrifying, fiery disasters over the last two years, the oil industry continues to dramatically expand Alberta tar sands and Bakken crude oil train transport throughout Canada and the United States. There is no safe way to transport such explosive oil and, with carbon and associated toxic pollution rising, oil trains wreck public and environmental health and safety and the global climate of communities across the continent.
The tragic Lac Mégantic accident grimly reminds us all that Big Oil will stop at nothing to extract, transport, and burn every drop of oil in the ground. Its primary northern Idaho/eastern Washington haulers, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) carrying fracked Bakken shale oil and Union Pacific Railroad moving Alberta tar sands dilbit through the Sandpoint, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington, areas, discount the communities they transgress with hazardous loads. Recent, industry-friendly, federal regulation revisions will not check their recklessness. The risks, costs, and millions of lives within the mile-wide, bomb train blast zones along their paths to profit around the Pacific Rim represent only collateral damage to the oil and railroad industries.
In July 2014, thousands of concerned citizens gathered at 63 events for the first Stop Oil Trains Week of Action, including multiple protest and outreach actions in Sandpoint and Spokane . As Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies continue to actively oppose Alberta tar sands and Bakken shale oil exploitation and train and pipeline transportation, we refuse to let Big Oil play Russian roulette with our families, friends, homes, businesses, and climate! On July 6 to 12, 2015, people across North America are defending their communities and climate, to halt extreme energy in its tracks and end the oil and rail industries’ pipeline on wheels . We will call attention to the growing threat of oil trains, as we demonstrate the growing power of our movement, organizing more than 100 events across the U.S. and Canada, which demand an immediate ban on oil trains.
Please join WIRT and allies at local demonstrations during the Stop Oil Trains Week of Action, and/or host or attend an event in your vicinity between July 6 and 12. Together with climate, environmental, and social justice activists across North America, we are organizing various tactics and resources to stage powerful and effective actions and documenting them with photos, videos, audio, and social media, to defend and protect frontline, rail corridor communities and our shared climate. Stand with residents of Lac Mégantic and other communities in the crosshairs of Big Oil, to stop oil trains this July, by participating in one or all of these five actions. Continue reading