Oil Train Response 2015
November 13-15, 2015
Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinated by FracTracker Alliance and ForestEthics
Couldn’t make it?
Watch Friday’s Presentations
Or check out the conversation on Twitter: #oiltrain15
About the Event
Over the past few years, oil train traffic across the continent has increased rapidly with more than 500,000 rail cars moving oil in 2014 alone, according to the Association of American Railroads. The recent Lac-Mégantic, Quebec disaster and subsequent accidents illustrate the severity of this issue. There is a pressing need to determine true hazards facing our communities and to develop solutions to prevent further disasters. Across the United States and Canada, the issue of oil trains has quickly risen onto the agenda of community leaders, safety experts, researchers, and concerned citizens. There is much to discover and share about protecting people and vulnerable places from the various risks these trains pose. Oil Train Response 2015 provides two invaluable forums on this most pressing problem and provides information and insights for every audience.
November 13, 2015
Community Risks & Solutions Conference
Presented by The Heinz Endowments
November 14 & 15, 2015
Activist Training Weekend
Presented by ForestEthics
Conference – November 13th
Friday, Nov 13th: 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM. View Agenda
The one-day conference presented by The Heinz Endowments invites all interest groups to hear from experts about the scale and scope of this challenge, as well as updates on the current regulatory and legal frameworks; consider case studies about the actions/measures taken by various communities in response; and, participate in discussion sessions to explore solutions to better safeguard communities. Elected officials, regulators, and emergency response professionals from Pennsylvania and beyond are especially encouraged to attend to take advantage of this important learning and networking opportunity.
Training – November 14-15th
Saturday, Nov. 14th: Training 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Reception 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Sunday, Nov. 15th: Training 7:30 AM – 2:00 PM
A two-day training presented by ForestEthics will equip grassroots and NGO leaders from across the nation with better skills to take back to their communities, and provide critical opportunities for attendees to share winning strategies with each other. In the process of sharing, the conference will help to build both the oil train movement and support the broader environmental and social justice movements. Areas of strategic focus will include: organizing, communications, spokesperson training, data management for organizers, legal strategies, and crowd-sourced train tracking. It will also provide a structured forum for advocates fighting specific oil terminal proposals in places like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Albany to develop shared strategies and tactics and provide all participants with the skills, knowledge and contacts they will need to carry on this work once they return home.
Oil trains are a major environmental justice issue. The conference and training will speak directly to environmental justice concerns and be inclusive of communities of color, economically disadvantaged urban and rural regions, and communities already experiencing environmental inequities. To this end, need-based travel scholarships will be provided. We are committed to developing the agenda in close consultation with our allies and attendees so that it meets their needs.
Please contact us with questions or requests: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to Paul Heckbert & Randy Sargent of CMU for supplying the oil train photo (top).
All oil transport has varying levels of danger. The hydrogen sulfide in some Bakken oils is especially dangerous and probably contributed to the Lac Megantic disaster. For more information on the many dangers of oil transport, please see my blog post: http://gleeaikin.blogspot.com/2013/12/prevent-future-keystone-xl-pipeline.html. I have added a link to this conference information to this blog article. While titled Keystone XL-Pipeline, I also cover the Lac Megantic tragedy in considerable detail with photos. There are also many links to useful sites for those needing more details on oil danger. The photo links are especially useful for posters and illustrating the great dangers. In 2013 Lac Megantic killed 47, and China’s Qingdao pipeline explosion killed 62. The sooner we shift to mostly renewables the better.