Letters to the Editor

Hoy is all wrong about oil trains


Matthew Hoy's inaccurate and sarcastic diatribe against the thousands of SLO residents who oppose the Phillips 66 crude oil train terminal project (“SLO County should weigh both the benefits and the risks of Phillips 66 rail spur,” Aug. 6) shows no understanding or respect for the scientifically confirmed risks it poses.

The realities of crude oil derailments were brought home again on June 3 when a Union Pacific train derailed and caught fire in Mosier, Oregon. Hoy displays his ignorance of federal law when he states that SLO decision-makers can simply impose safety and operational requirements on Union Pacific. They cannot due to federal control of rail operations and preemption of any local requirements.

He ignores the fact that the crude oil Phillips wants to import in mile-long trains is destined for export to Asia and does nothing for local gasoline supplies or prices. We want Phillips 66 to continue to buy local oil and safely refine it and maintain its labor force, which it can do with local oil supplies.

Importing crude oil on dangerous trains is all risk and no benefit to California — but Phillips make billions in profits.

Charles Varni, Oceano