I can hardly bring myself to look at the constant news about species going extinct and climate havoc. It’s no longer enough to go tooling around in my Prius. When I saw a letter to the editor mentioning the Citizens’ Climate Lobby monthly meetings — the first Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Unitarian Fellowship in San Luis Obispo — I marked my calendar and attended. A former federal regulator gave a presentation that was a real eye-opener. He gave us a real picture of what will be involved if the Phillips 66 refinery extension is allowed on the Nipomo Mesa. Wherever there are train tracks in our county, there will be weekly runs of 30 diesel locomotives carrying flammable crude oil from the Canadian tar sands. The diesel exhaust that will be expelled from these trains is the most dangerous air pollutant there is.
The tar sands oil will go right through the middle of our towns. In February, multiple tanker rail cars carrying crude oil, and equipped with the newest safety features, derailed in West Virginia, triggering explosions and 100-yardhigh flames in a residential subdivision. Do we really want these end-to-end trains endangering our communities? Information and a petition is available at http://www.protectslo.org.