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Opinion: Stopping a few local rail spurs will not solve problems 

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Bullying is not a good way to run a government. Unemotional fact-finding and determination of cause and effect is the road to solutions.

Regarding crude oil transport by rail, lowering volatility, improving containers, greater safety precautions, education and training of workers and responders are ways we should proceed. Stopping a few local rail spurs does not solve the problems.

Last April, Paso Robles responded properly by sending a letter to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs urging safety measures be taken. Our letter was honored and much of it was implemented by the Federal Rail Administration. Additional protections are being considered.

Some suggestions to eliminate volatility are difficult and increase cost while others come from the mining companies themselves. As an active elected participant on the local, regional and national levels in this regard, I’ve been participating to the extent possible to constructively deal with this.

Petroleum gives us plastics, clothing, detergents, fertilizer, cosmetics, furniture, roads, runways, fuel and more. Safer is better. “My way or the highway”  is not an answer … especially if you’re going to eliminate the highway.

Headlines don’t produce solutions. Solutions produce headlines.

Fred Strong
Paso Robles City Councilman

Editor’s note: Fred Strong submitted this letter as an individual. He is not writing on behalf of the council.


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