Thank you, Phil Dirkx, for your column pointing out Paso Robles’ vulnerability to railroad disasters and criticizing the City Council for not taking a strong stand. You are right. Sending a letter to the federal government asking for more railroad regulations does nothing. We can protect Paso Robles and the county from fire, clouds of oily smoke and groundwater pollution only by denying Phillips 66 a permit.
Don’t think the “safer” tanker cars are safe. They have exploded into big fireballs, too.
Most derailments are caused by equipment failure and human error by the railroad, but they can also be caused by a truck left on the track. Wildfire could engulf the track, as it did in the Highway 41 fire.
Just deny the permit. Then the oil trains won’t run. We’ll be safe.