Rick wrote this morning about the horrendous tragedy that occurred in the southern Quebec resort town of Lac-Megantic when an idling freight train mysteriously released all brakes and rolled down upon the center of the unsuspecting town. Neither the engineer nor the conductor were on the train, as it is common practice to hand the controls over to the operators of the west-bound train and then ride home to Montreal as the other crew does the same by going back to the east.
It has been big news here since Saturday morning. About 60 Maine firefighters in some 20 vehicles responded upwards of 100 miles to aid in the battle against the inferno. While the news has been calling it “crude oil,” the fact is it was residual crude recovered by “fracking”, which means it was mixed with water, kerosene and other highly volatile petroleum distillates, heated to the boiling point of water and contained within a pressurized vessel, not at normal atmospheric temperature and pressure as is common practice with crude. So what rolled down the tracks in the wee small hours of Friday night were essentially very large IED’s, highly effective ones at that. And that’s how you simply vaporize an entire club full of people. Merde!
The transport of fracked oil and drilling fluids from the oil fields in Nebraska and the Dakotas to refineries in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia has resulted in the usual brouhaha of Earth First!, Sierra Club, and other militant “protectors of the environment” in this bastion of fruits and nuts. Unspoken in the media, but in the forefront of cynical old farts like me, is the very real possibility this was an intentional strike by one of these lug nut groups with too little grasp upon reality. Similar activities have occurred out West and in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. I will be terribly saddened if these folks have had their lives stolen to make some dubious ‘point’ in the seemingly never-ending crusade to put trees and chipmunks needs ahead of those of hard working North Americans.