Credo Action

Tell President Obama: It’s time to ban oil trains

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Petition to President Obama:

"After 14 major oil train fires in the past three years, it’s clear that there is no safe way to transport crude oil by rail. These explosive oil trains run through major populations centers, putting 25 million Americans in danger. It is long past time to ban oil trains."

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    Tell President Obama: It’s time to ban oil trains

    On June 3, a 96-car train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in the small Columbia River Gorge town of Mosier, Oregon. The train derailed literally feet from the town's water treatment plant, the Columbia River, and a school. Were it not for the sheer luck of a rare windless day, the explosion and fire could have been absolutely catastrophic.1

    This was the 14th major oil train fire in the last three years, since the tragedy in the town of Lac Megantic, Quebec when a massive oil train explosion claimed the lives of 47 people and leveled half of the downtown.

    President Obama’s Department of Transportation has implemented some safety improvements on oil trains, but it is clear that these are totally insufficient. As long as trains are allowed to carry explosive crude through our communities, the next catastrophe is inevitable.

    Tell President Obama: Protect our communities from explosive crude. It’s time to ban oil trains.

    The outsized risk of crude by rail simply can’t be justified by the small role it plays in our energy supply. Half a million barrels per day are moved on trains in the US and Canada, representing only 2.5 percent of all oil consumed in the US each day.2

    But the impact on Americans’ health and safety is enormous. Critical waterways, countless pieces of infrastructure, and the homes of 25 million Americans are put at risk as these bomb trains roll straight through major populations centers.3

    The new safety standards that were introduced last year by the Department of Transportation are clearly insufficient. In Mosier, the train derailed and exploded despite the tracks having been inspected just days before, and the use of the newest state-of-the-art tank cars.4

    In the wake of the accident, a former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board agrees that oil trains are too dangerous, saying “Carrying crude oil by rail is just not a good idea… We need to phase out rail shipments of crude oil.”5

    From the public safety risk to the pollution of our climate, oil trains represent the wrong direction for our country. President Obama can take decisive action to shut down this unnecessary, dangerous threat once and for all.

    Tell President Obama: Protect our communities from explosive crude. It’s time to ban oil trains.

    1. "Mosier fire chief: Oil train crash could have incinerated school," KGW, 6/9/16
    2. "U.S. Movements of Crude Oil By Rail," U.S. Energy Information Administration
    3. "Top 5 Reasons To Ban Oil Trains Immediately," Stand.Earth, 6/29/16
    4. "DANGERS OF OIL TRAINS: THE MOSIER ACCIDENT," EarthJustice, 6/16/16
    5. "Phase out rail shipments of crude oil (Opinion)," The Oregonian, 6/9/16