Activists try to stop crude-by-rail


By Joseph Perkins | Cal Watchdog

“Boom!” read the signs carried by some of the five dozen or so protesters who raised a ruckus Saturday outside the Kinder Morgan rail yard in the Contra Costa County city of Richmond.

The aim of the environmental and community activists is to stop further rail shipments of crude oil extracted from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to refineries in Richmond and other California cities. They claim Bakken crude is highly flammable and explosive.

They point to an accident last year in Lac-Megantic, Quebec that occurred when an unattended freight train – which happened to be carrying Bakken crude – derailed and caught fire, resulting in the tragic deaths of 47 people.

Andres Soto, an organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, suggested it is only a matter of time before a similar tragedy occurs near one of the cities along the rail line on which the Bakken crude is shipped.

“What’s really scary,” he told the Oakland Tribune, “is on the other side of these ‘bomb trains’ are schools and houses.”

at Cal Watchdog.