Save lives, and the planet

The highly volatile and flammable crude oil that is under consideration for the Benicia Valero refinery won’t magically appear at the refinery. It matters not that the refinery is surrounded by an industrial park, this dirty and deadly oil must still be transported thousands of miles from the Bakken fracking fields or from tar sands.

On the one-year anniversary of the Lac-Megantic train explosion that incinerated 47 people and left a Canadian town devoid of its downtown, it is negligent to disregard the dangers of transporting this murderous cargo.

One of the proposed routes for the trains that will carry this unstable brew will travel over the Sierra where our water comes from, down through Roseville, Sacramento, here through Davis, over parts of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and along Interstate 80, passing many other communities on its way to Benicia and then China and other world markets.

The trains will use portions of track used by Amtrak to carry passengers up and down the corridor. All of these communities and resources will take the risks but none will benefit from this crude by rail. Who will be liable for that next train derailment and explosion?

The only economy that this oil is good for is Valero’s. The fossil fuel industry is literally a dying industry. The risks are too great and the benefits too small. It’s time to change course and invest in renewable energy. We could save lives and the planet as well.

Elizabeth Lasensky

Letters to the Editor

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