Target: National Governors Association
Goal: Protect your community from dangerous oil shipments
May of this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an executive order mandating railroad companies to inform emergency responders when dangerous shipments of explosive crude oil would be transported in their states. This comes as a response to a record-breaking year of oil train derailments, explosions and spills. Just last July, a derailment in Lac Megnatic Quebec killed 47 people; another six derailments occurred in North America around the same time.
Despite the Department of Transportation’s warning, however, railroad companies are still trying to keep information about oil shipments secret from the public, citing confidentiality clauses. This poses an imminent threat to anyone who lives, works, or goes to school near the areas where shipments occur. To make matters worse, according to oil and shipping industry estimates, these “bomb trains” can also carry up to millions of gallons (~70,000 barrels) of volatile crude oil each.
The public has a right to know when these dangerous oil trains are running through their neighborhoods. By signing this petition, you are urging the governor of your state to take action in order to ensure that railroad companies release the necessary information.
Dear National Governors Association,
This year alone, there have been an overwhelming number of crude oil related accidents. In response to these incidences, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an emergency order, which requires railroad companies to inform state emergency commissions about any large (one million gallons or more) shipments of oil.
Railroad companies, however, have not abided by the order.
This poses an immediate health risk to the public. Not only is this information critical to emergency responders, it is also critical to the residents who live, work or go to school near these rail routes. I urge you to make sure that our state makes railroad shipment information available to the public. This requirement includes disclosing the number of trains each week, the specific routes the trains will travel and the counties these trains will pass through.
Several states have already taken the initiative by releasing disclosures from railroads. We need to follow in their footsteps. This is the only way to prevent future oil train incidences from occurring.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dhaluza via Wikipedia