Just say no to crude by rail

February 21, 2015


Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo City Council officially joined a rapidly expanding list of towns, cities and counties. They’re the ones specifically opposed to Phillips 66 imposing its self-proclaimed “crude-by-rail strategy” on California and San Luis Obispo County.

After a unanimous vote, the Council sent a two-page letter (attached) to the County’s Planning Commission outlining the obvious dangers of allowing a rail terminal to be built and having hundreds of tar sands crude oil trains menacing its citizens each year.

It stated the case clearly and forcefully:

“Trains delivering crude would go right through the heart of our city. An accident would have catastrophic effects if it occurred in any populated or habitat area. Our fire fighters and emergency response or hazmat teams are not funded nor equipped to deal with the magnitude of a rail disaster.

“The council urges you to deny the application of the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo. Reject this project and protect the health, safety and welfare of San Luis Obispo County residents.”

The list of major municipalities gets longer each week. Why? Because they recognize the outcomes of an invasion of Phillips’ oil trains.

Here’s the list of those north and south that have already officially communicated their opposition:

• Alameda County
• Berkeley
• Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
• Camarillo
• Davis
• Moorpark
• Oakland
• Oxnard
• Richmond
• Simi Valley
• San Jose
• San Leandro Unified School District
• San Luis Obispo City
• Ventura County
• Ventura Unified School District

Therefore — this is not a “NIMBY” issue. Phillips’ plan endangers scores of cities and towns, and millions of citizens as their trains carry tar sands all the way from Canada to SLO County.

The decision to allow or disallow the rail terminal in Nipomo, and thus the oil trains, will be landmark in nature. The SLO County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors has the power to stand up to big oil and say, “keep your trains out.,” or they can open the floodgates. The nation is watching.

This story is happening now. The decision will be made soon.

The Mesa Refinery Watch Group is a group of people opposed to the Nipomo rail spur project.

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Hey, it’s not just the oil trains! Look at all the citizens killed by all trains each year. People walking along minding their own business, listening to their music when they are struck from behind by these evil trains! Something must be done! If only there was a way to move oil under ground from place to place, say, in some sort of pipeline…hmmm, that sounds oddly familiar to me for some reason.

Drill baby Drill in this case RAIL BABY RAIL!

I was going to dismiss this article by the Mesa Refinery Watch Group as something from recent “sweater around the neck” Orange County Sierra Club liberal transplants. But then I noticed that oil by rail is also opposed by the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. That sure changed my mind.

I wonder if the politicos are even aware of what’s already being shipping down the UP coastal route for decades and decades? Tankers of crude, oil, acids, etc. Why the outrage now?

Ahhhhh, politics…

Everyone from true Statesmen and those on the left have an opinion on oil.

It occurs naturally. It’s underground! Walk Montana De Oro. You will see deposits left upon the shale rock. Visit Santa barbara beaches and look upon the sand that bears oil due to upwelling.

Why is it alright to ignore it when underground, but when Man exploites it as our Creator God has decreed, does it become a problem?


I believe there’s a mistake…the list above is for those in favor of the high speed rail project.

Could it be that all of them would also be opposed to this rail project?

“Crude oil trains menacing its citizens”..really guys. Was this the actual language? How about some statistics on the safety record or lack thereof? Why can’t politicians ever make educated decisions rather than always making political ones?

Since we all need oil, and since Phillips is not going away, logic dictates that if there is no rail there will be trucks, and with any luck, a pipeline underground! Trucks are more exposed to danger than rail, so I expect the Mesa Refinery Watch Group to fervently and wholeheartedly lobby for a new pipeline as the best and safest alternative with zero impact on the non-native eucalyptus trees. Probably the easiest route would be right under the dunes: easy digging and not much to disturb.I hereby volunteer to join the Committee Looking At Pipelines, or CLAP! Thank me later…

Lol, pipeline under the dunes, hahahahaha.

Ever heard of the coastal commission?

Imagine the PM10 caused by that, and all those retirees who bought homes on the Nipomo Mesa AFTER all the eucalyptus trees (aka windbreak) were cut down, coming to complain about dust on a windy day.

NEVER gonna get oil to Phillips that way!


“Since we all need oil, …”

There is the problem, period. There are alternatives, they are more expensive and there isn’t as much profit in other products that are not fossil fuel based. The oil companies are rich beyond most people’s imagination, and they spend their money very freely on “lobbying” elected officials.

If oil products were not as heavily subsidized as they currently are, if all of the costs for impacts to health were born by the producers of the oil products, most fossil fuel products would be very costly, and the alternatives would have a more realistic opportunity for competition. But oil companies love monopolies, so they invest in the politicians so they can keep their high profits and the competition from alternative fuels and technology at bay.

Let’s all give jonhartz the CLAP! lol (also satire)

Just some corrections, in parentheses:

“Tuesday, the (whack job liberal elected officials, not the people of) San Luis Obispo City Council officially joined a rapidly expanding list of (similarly liberal and unthinking elected officials of) towns, cities and counties. They’re the ones specifically opposed to Phillips 66 imposing its self-proclaimed “crude-by-rail strategy” on California and San Luis Obispo County.”

This “opinion piece” says it’s not a NIMBY issue. Yes it is. We either progress and grow proven 99.999999 per cent safe petroleum transport, or we let naysayers and timid souls and enviro extremists shut down progress.

My family really LIKES a heated home and dependable vehicle for transport to work and play. We support this proven safe rail petroleum technology use for the 66 plant.

Phillips can still get oil by pipeline as they have in the past. Expansion might not be in the future if they can’t get it by rail but they can still produce.

While the number of serious oil train accidents may be small in comparison to the total number of miles/trips, the consequences of them are anything but small. (Lac Megantic, Quebec, Castleton, ND and now Adena, WV.) I don’t have anything against Phillips refining oil, I just don’t trust BNSF to transport it safely enough. They have been reluctant to invest in state-of-the-art (safety-wise) oil tank cars and their track maintenance is merely adequate (i.e. not good enough for regular high-risk traffic). And then there is the additional problem of grade crossings in populated areas which is not so much their fault but still a problem.

I would like to see a better history of safety before permitting this operation locally.