WV coal chem pollution aboveND oil train fireball below
On January 3, 2014, one of our more ignorant fellow citizens, apparently a conservative, wrote an LTE to the STrib:
OIL TRAIN DERAILMENT
North Dakota accident has local implications
Here’s hoping the oil train accident on the North Dakota prairie (“Evacuation ends for N.D. city near crude oil inferno,” Jan. 1) convinces President Obama to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built. Believe it or not, we have eight to 10 of these oil trains passing through the Twin Cities per day.
Granted, you need a 60-mile-per-hour derailment to fracture a rail tank car and create steel sparks from the crash in which to ignite a fire, but it’s also possible that an eastbound oil train traveling at 30 mph through northeast or southeast Minneapolis would have a chance to become a fireball disaster if it were to derail into a westbound train moving at 30 mph on a parallel track.
So the question of building pipelines or forcing oil to market via railroads should now have been answered on the outskirts of Casselton, N.D.
It seems unique to conservatives to ignore the option, when looking at pipelines and trains, of “NONE OF THE ABOVE”. They are two poor choices. Both should be rejected in favor of safer, less dirty, less global warming contributing alternatives. We should, as a state, and as a nation, be smart enough, well educated enough, and savvy enough about the costs of such pollution and contamination to act accordingly.
Hundreds of thousands of people in nine counties of West Virginia are unable to drink the water there, or bathe in it, or wash their clothes in it.
Chemical Spill Leaves Thousands Without Water in West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As federal prosecutors opened an investigation on Friday into a chemical spill in West Virginia that had contaminated drinking water used by more than 200,000 residents, state officials said it remained unclear when tap water would be safe to use.
The spill that has affected Charleston and the nine surrounding counties was discovered around noon on Thursday at a storage facility owned by on the Elk River, where a 48,000-gallon tank began leaking 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, or MCHM, a compound used to wash coal of impurities, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.
Booth Goodwin, the United States attorney for the southern part of West Virginia, said in a statement that his office and “other federal law enforcement authorities have opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the release.”
On hearing the news, I could only wonder what those people will do, not only for the indefinite future to provide for their own water needs, but with providing water to their pets and their livestock in rural areas, and what the cost would be for the damage done to wildlife, both plant and animal? What is the value of the damage that might be done to crops?
West Virginia, unlike Minnesota, is a relatively poor state, a state effectively owned by the fossil fuel industry, which does an effective job of buying control of government, a state where the level of education is poor and where health care is not routinely available to many people. West Virginia already ranks 47th out of the 50 states for health issues. Looking at poverty rankings, West Virginia is 43rd out of the 50 states (Minnesota, by contrast is 4th). WV is 43rd in educational attainment (Minnesota is 2nd).
The people of West Virginia lack the resources to fund adequate alternative sources of water, particularly over a long period of time. That means the federal government will have to take up the slack, which amount to subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, paying their costs of doing business — more corporate welfare – while they keep their profits, courtesy of the ability of those who profit from fossil fuel being so well able to lobby and otherwise buy government favor.
We cannot afford the high costs of fracking, of oil spills or the environmental costs of tar sands oil. We cannot afford the hidden costs of coal either, hardly an exemplary part of the fossil fuel industry. …READ MORE