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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tragic Reminder of High Cost of Fossil Fuel Dependency

Fires continues to burn in the small town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec on Sunday—over twenty-four hours after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in the community's downtown, engulfing the area in flames and black smoke.
"The terrible irony of the explosion is not lost on local environmentalists who, just last week, blockaded a set of railroad tracks passing through the nearby town of Fairfield, Maine to stop a train carrying 70,000 barrels of "fracked oil" on its way to the Irving oil refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. The action was meant to draw attention to the "fracked oil" that is quietly being transported through small towns in Canada and Maine on a regular basis. 

"It's not lost on any of us that this is exactly what we were pointing out could happen in Maine, with millions of barrels being transported across the state each year," Meaghan LaSala, an organizer with 350 Maine which was behind the direct action, told Common Dreams. "Our hearts are going out to the people in Quebec right now." "It's devastating that, so close to our action, the the thing we were most afraid of happening did," she added. Lac-Megantic, which sits just miles over the border from Maine, is one of thousands of small towns through which trains carry crude, fracked oil from the Bakken oil fields of the northern midwest United States and central Canada to the Irving refinery."