Martin Akel and his three co-authors (“Proposed rail project could bring dangerous oil shipments to SLO County,” Jan. 22) have bit the bait hard. Bakken light crude oil is not destined for the Nipomo Phillips refinery; it can’t refine such lightweight materials. What the refinery can handle is Alberta’s tar-sands heavy crude oils. Indeed, that’s what coming our way if the proposed project is permitted.
The political and economic effects on our county are easy to imagine. Many people have already been arrested opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. More will be arrested when the Obama administration denies the pipeline and those — like the Union Pacific — still try to profit on tar-sands dirty energy by bringing it into our county.
Our law enforcement agencies, attorneys and courts will be overwhelmed. Many elected officials and community members, myself included, will sit down on the UP’s tracks. We can expect the effects of these actions to last for years if not for decades.