Tuesday, September 27, 2016

crude by rail news

Interesting developments in Benicia, California, where a small city's local council struggled to uphold its right to decide land use and protect its residents' health and safety.  The local council denied "a land use permit to bring in volatile Bakken and Tar Sands crude oil from North Dakota and Canada by train".   

Hopefully this company doesn't  attempt the same crude by rail project in Chalmette.  Although Chalmette has similar tax base dependencies, we struggle to find apparent prosperity, while  the poverty rate, especially for children, continues.


excerpts from The Benicia Independent article by Grant Cooke

Which is why Valero pushed so hard to transport volatile Bakken crude by rail cars through the densely populated Sacramento corridor and cram the trains into Benicia and a refinery that is not designed or equipped to deal with them. The industries, the refineries and all connected to the fossil fuel era, know that the incredibly lucrative period when oil was king and black gold flowed from the sand is coming to an end.

Bringing this back to Benicia, we see a city that is dependent on Valero for tax revenue and its governing process glimpsing a new reality. Small cities like Benicia that have been so dependent on the fossil fuel industries for so much and for so long, struggle to change. Other cities like those in the deindustrialized Midwest that have suffered sudden collapses of their major companies and tax bases have had to reinvent their economic drivers or just blow away. But it’s hard for a city like Benicia with its apparent prosperity and ease of living to understand that its fossil fuel base is in decline and that the future is elsewhere.

Grant Cooke is a longtime Benicia resident and CEO of Sustainable Energy Associates. He is also an author and has written several books on the Green Industrial Revolution. His newest is “Smart Green Cities” by Routledge.

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