Letters to the Editor

Disinformation on oil

Using a familiar trick employed by tobacco companies and climate deniers in the past, the author of the Oct. 9 Viewpoint “Fear campaign against Phillips” tries to discredit people who object to permitting mile-long trains of volatile crude oil to travel through the center of our cities. It’s right out of the old playbook: dismiss scientifically-backed warnings in favor of those who stand to profit from endangering the rest of us.

Your author tries to reassure us that only tar sands crude will be carried on these trains, “whose volatility is considered to be in the lower volatility range.” Considered by whom?

According to the trade journal Railway Age, “The widespread belief that bitumen from Alberta’s northern oil sands is far safer to transport by rail than Bakken crude is, for all intents and purposes, dead wrong.”(See http://www.Railwayage.com.)

The writer tries to bamboozle us with slippery language, an appearance of expertise and a professionally crafted array of false technical data.

A recent New York Times article carries a story headlined “Exxon’s climate concealment” and subtitled “The company knew decades ago about the potentially catastrophic dangers of burning fossil fuels. Then it chose a path of disinformation and denial.”