A new website has published an interactive map of the U.S and Canadian Rail system that is being used to transport millions of gallons of potentially dangerous crude oil. The lines run through cities and towns and rural areas across the land. We know from the Lac-Megantic, Quebec disaster of July 2013 that destroyed the town and killed 47 people, that safety is hardly assured. Oil transportation by rail has increased 4000% in the last six years. Are safety strategies keeping up with this increase?
Do you want to know if these trains are running through your community? The organization that created the website, ForestEthics.org has published the map and has a petition for you to sign.
Petition- To: US President Obama and Congress
It seems each month another town is facing a terrifying oil train derailment, poisoned drinking water, or a deadly explosion. Our rail system takes these trains through population centers by schools and homes. Safety standards are weak and our emergency responders are not equipped for accidents.
We are not prepared for this threat:
Oil trains are more than a mile-long with 100+ cars, concentrating the risk of an accident that could ignite the three million gallons of crude on a single train.
Oil train traffic has increased more than 4,000 percent in the last five years.
Rail routes run right through major urban areas and cross water supplies. The US rail system was not designed to transport dangerous crude oil.
Dangerous DOT-111 cars, which make up the majority of US oil tanker trains, have serious flaws that make them highly prone to puncture during a derailment.
We have the solution:
The first step: Ban unsafe oil tanker cars.
We must prepare and equip emergency responders and reroute trains around population centers and away from water supplies.
New rail safety rules must be strong and must give citizens the information they need to protect themselves and the power to say no.
We do not need the extreme oil transported by these trains. The crude oil carried by train is more explosive and more toxic than conventional crude oil; it is also more carbon intensive. At a time when our oil use is decreasing and the threat of climate disruption is growing, the risk from oil trains is unacceptable.