The letters in support of the Phillips 66 rail spur extension project seem to get their facts from some magical mystery tour, with talking points from the Phillips 66 public relations firms, because their comments present an alternative reality.
The latest letter calls the project a NIMBY issue. With more than 30 municipalities, including Santa Clara, Santa Barbara and Monterey up and down coastal and capital corri dors along the Union Pacific Railroad main line writing letters to the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission opposing the project, this is anything but a NIMBY issue. These letters have been written by responsible public officials — not “special interest” groups — who view these “bomb” trains as a threat to the public health and safety of their communities.
The letters continue, saying that trains are safer than trucks, but they are not an economic alternative. This is a “threat” cobbled out of thin air.
Phillips 66 proposes five trains a week, each a mile long, composed of 80 tankers pulled by diesel locomotives rumbling through the county, with each train carrying over 2.2 million gallons of the most volatile and toxic crude from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, for more than 20 years.