Oil Trains in Your Backyard

Climate Action Bainbridge

Climate Action Bainbridge raises oil train awareness.

A couple nights ago, Climate Action Bainbridge (formerly Coal-Free Bainbridge) greeted ferry passengers with No Oil Trains signs to commemorate the oil train explosion in Quebec that killed 47 people and to raise awareness that the same highly flammable oil is now traveling through downtown Seattle and along Puget Sound.

Climate Action Bainbridge realizes that unless you’re a Sightline fan, Eric de Place groupie, or follow all topics related to climate change, you may not know that Bakken oil from North Dakota is traveling through Seattle. And, that it is more volatile than other types of crude.

Inside Bainbridge‘s informative article about proposed and current oil-by-rail projects in our state:

On July 6, 2013, 47 people were incinerated when an oil train carrying the highly flammable crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. This Thursday, July 10, Climate Action Bainbridge wants to join, as they put it, “countless other communities that have designated this week as a time to remember those killed and prevent the needless death of others.” The memorial is part of Sierra Club’s campaign Protect Your Community from Explosive Oil Trains, happening from July 6-13.

While we stood on Olympic Drive SE during the ferry loading and unloading a passerby asked us: “Did you all drive here?” Great question, of course. And, yes, many of us did. His question pointed out that we do have a little supply and demand problem. As long as we keep demanding fuel, someone will find a way to supply it and make a profit – that’s capitalism. Are we not capitalists? We are. And, making a shift in our way of life can be a slow and uneven process. Maybe commuting will someday be a thing of the past, or we’ll have infrastructures to better support biking and walking within our communities and between communities, or perhaps we’ll lead less busy lives. There’s a slow food movement, why not a slow life movement?

One other thing our presence was meant to highlight — we trust large corporations and more importantly our government to work to keep us safe. If oil is needed, does it need to run through highly populated areas? Or along large bodies of water such as the Puget Sound where an oil spill could be disastrous?

Its worth noting that many people have already made the leap to a lower-carbon lifestyle. We cheered on cyclists (one of whom said he got 50 miles to the pint of IPA), bus passengers, Smart cars, electric cars, motorcycles and other fuel-efficient modes of transportation. Proof that many people are already trying to live more lightly on the planet.



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