One year after Lac-Megantic, residents gather to stop oil trains
by Cassady Craighill
July 7, 2014
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Lac-Megantic oil train explosion that tragically killed 47 innocent people in Quebec.
Not only is oil drilling itself hazardous and the cause of national emergencies like the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, but the transport of that oil is also a likely disaster running through several North American towns.
Since the Lac-Megantic explosion, which carried mislabeled oil, oil trains have crashed, leaked or exploded in Alabama, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
This week, however, marks a national week of action during which activists all across North America will rally to honor lives lost and call for a change from the Transportation Secretary, President Obama and the US Congress.
The amount of crude oil shipped across North America by rail has risen dramatically from 9,500 tank cars in 2008 to more than 400,000 in 2013, mostly Bakken crude from North Dakota, and tar sands from Alberta, Canada. The number of derailments, spills and explosions has also grown.
On July 6th, residents of Lac-Megantic, Quebec gathered to remember those impacted by the 72-car explosion. Residents and activists in North America are holding events and vigil throughout the week.