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Friday, July 12, 2013

Article Says Quebec Train Wreck "a Corporate Crime Scene"

From The Guardian:
So here's my bit of unwelcome sociology: the explosion in Lac-Mégantic is not merely a tragedy. It is a corporate crime scene.
The deeper evidence about this event won't be found in the train's black box, or by questioning the one engineer who left the train before it loosened and careened unmanned into the heart of this tiny town. For that you'll have to look at how Lac-Mégantic was hit by a perfect storm of greed, deregulation and an extreme energy rush driving companies to ever greater gambles with the environment and human life.
The crude carried on the rail-line of US-based company Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway – "fracked" shale oil from North Dakota – would not have passed through Lac-Mégantic five years ago. That's because it's part of a boom in dirty, unconventional energy, as fossil fuel companies seek to supplant the depletion of easy oil and gas with new sources – sources that are harder to find, nastier to extract, and more complicated to ship.
Read the rest of the article here. 

So, I guess the idea is that this disaster can be added to the list of horrific things that fracking is responsible for.  The article goes on to talk about the alarming warnings that have been issued over the condition of railways in Canada, and blames the oil and gas industry for transporting product by rail.  At the same time, it praises the efforts of groups to block pipeline projects - which would have enabled the materials to avoid being moved by rail.

So the point of the article, apparently, is that this tragedy never would have happened if those oil and gas companies would stop trying to get their product to market.  Regardless of the demand consumers create for fossil fuels, energy companies should just ignore it and suspend their operations.

Do you agree?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

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