Letters: ‘Peak Oil’; ‘Stop the bomb trains’

ktx sq lomo 1923 Abraham Lincoln 3-cent stampPeak oil

Peak Oil has arrived. If you are not familiar with the term, it means that worldwide, oil production is at its peak and will begin to decline. This will translate into rising oil and food prices.
In the very near future, we may be very sorry to have pulled up train tracks. Now is not the time to be ripping up even more tracks.
I enjoy bike riding and appreciate the good intentions behind turning rails into trails. However, I urge Mike Hein to reconsider this particular initiative.

Kristina Zill, Hobart

Stop the ‘bomb trains’

The unaccountable, arrogant license of the oil/gas industry is brought home to our Hudson Valley by the bomb trains moving through our local towns. This highly descriptive nickname, “bomb trains,” was coined by railroad men, not tree-huggers. The fracked Bakken crude oil is different from conventional oil. It burns explosively at a low temperature. Although legally, deadly chemicals must be contained in insulated train cars, deadly crude oil is legal in ordinary thin-skinned DOT-111 tank cars, of which 200 a day ride the rails across New York state. There have been two New York derailments recently, of empty cars — luckily. Kate Hudson, lawyer for Riverkeeper, not exactly a drama queen, has predicted an explosive catastrophe, “not if, but when.”

Kate Hudson will address the Ulster County Legislature Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. Some local legislators are calling for a public hearing. We must support local democratic efforts to question an industry which has bought Congress. Both Washington and Albany admit the risks of this transport but are focusing regulation on our “right” to know about the risks so first responders can be prepared. Prepared for massive fire balls in our neighborhoods? Our local legislative agencies embody the only democracy still accessible to us. Call your county legislator. Let’s support this call for a public hearing to be heard much farther than Kingston.


Joan Walker-Wasylyk, Woodstock