Dozens of protesters gathered in downtown San Luis Obispo on Monday to protest Phillips 66’s proposal to build a rail spur to its Nipomo Mesa refinery, a topic of hearings this week before the county Board of Supervisors.
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People from the Central Coast as well as from Northern California protested, some carrying signs that said “No Way in San Jose” and “Stop Oil Trains.” U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, Northern Chumash Tribal Council spokesman Fred Collins and Northern Chumash Tribal Council member Violet Cavanaugh were among the speakers.
Afterward, protesters marched from the County Government Center through downtown, led by a symbolic train formed by members of 350 Silicon Valley, a San Jose-based climate change group.
Phillips 66’s proposal to build a rail spur would enable the company to haul 6.6 million gallons of crude oil per week by rail to its Nipomo Mesa refinery.
Justine Massey of Sacramento, who sang Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” during the march, said the Phillips 66 rail plan affects them, too.
“We came to speak out against the oil trains. It also affects us,” said Massey, who traveled to San Luis Obispo with the Sacramento Climate Coalition.
“It’s an immense risk for a very shortsighted profit for Phillips 66.”