Letters to the Editor

Phillips 66 will hurt SLO County citizens in more ways than one

A large group met at Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo on Saturday, July 9, 2016, to protest the Phillips 66 oil train proposed to travel through Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. The group left Mitchell Park and marched through town to the SLO County administration building on Monterey Street. San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and Charles Varney, representative of the San Luis Obispo Surfrider’s Association were among some of the key speakers. Several hundred protestors walk up Osos Street toward the County Building on Monterey Street. Maureen Forney, a teacher from San Leandro, spurs on the crowd to chant.
A large group met at Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo on Saturday, July 9, 2016, to protest the Phillips 66 oil train proposed to travel through Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. The group left Mitchell Park and marched through town to the SLO County administration building on Monterey Street. San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and Charles Varney, representative of the San Luis Obispo Surfrider’s Association were among some of the key speakers. Several hundred protestors walk up Osos Street toward the County Building on Monterey Street. Maureen Forney, a teacher from San Leandro, spurs on the crowd to chant. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

I am dismayed at the attitude of several San Luis Obispo County planning commissioners regarding their vote on a permit for Phillips 66’s building a rail spur that would bring a new type of oil train — one given to derailments and resulting explosions as well as toxic fumes — into our county.

Our vote doesn’t matter. It will end in court anyway.

Their decision and that of the county supervisors does matter. If the permit is approved, Phillips 66 can begin building the rail spur even if the decision is being contested in court. This will give the company serious leverage in the courts as judges will be reluctant to direct Phillips 66 to remove what they have already built at significant cost.

Phillips 66 will realize huge profits from refining cheaper crude oil from out of state. SLO County citizens will see the quality of their life and health diminished. The commissioners and our county supervisors are tasked with protecting our health and safety, not Phillips 66’s profits.

Americans are frustrated because government no longer works for the common good but for the interests of a few. Our county planning commissioners need to re-evaluate their positions and vote unanimously to deny the spur.

Andrew Roof, San Luis Obispo

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