Letters to the Editor

Phillips 66 rail spur through SLO County is not benign

An oil train protest was held in February at the County Government Center over a proposal to expand production at the Phillips 66 refinery on the Nipomo Mesa.
An oil train protest was held in February at the County Government Center over a proposal to expand production at the Phillips 66 refinery on the Nipomo Mesa. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Mr. Ed Cobleigh (“The oil train that didn’t wreck,” April 13) must live in a Disney-like fantasy world of mocking birds singing as crude oil tankers go rumbling by on the decaying overpasses in Paso Robles. His statement that the opposition to the Phillips 66 rail extension is not based on reasoned risk assessment illustrates that he knows little about the project.

It’s not a benign extension, but a crude oil transfer station that would have the most toxic and volatile type of crude oil from the tar sands of Canada coming through Paso Robles. These milelong trains would be pulled by diesel engines spewing the most dangerous emissions. In fact, the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission staff identified these emissions among the 11 Class I impacts that could not be mitigated, along the Union Pacific railroad mainline and within the refinery.

This project benefits only the interests of one multinational company, Phillips 66, to the detriment of the health and public safety of the communities that these crude oil trains will pass through.

Trains derail almost every day, some in fiery explosions and others in minor mishaps. It would be sad to read about Paso in the headlines should such a disaster occur, knowing that it could have been stopped.

Arlene Carol, Nipomo

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