Banner Hung in Old Town Protests Oil Transport

Adrienne DiPiazza

Updated 4 months ago

Individuals from the organization “SEEDs for Justice” are protesting the transport of oil by rail lines in Maine.

A 50 foot banner, that has since been removed, was hung off a train trestle in Old Town.

The Penobscot Nation is not part of the protest, but supports the cause.

“As the original stewards and the caretakers for this great river, we’re very concerned about the potential catastrophic affects should there be a disaster here,” says John Banks, with the Penobscot Nation.

Banks also says more could be done to maintain the rail lines.

  • rusty shackleford

    I moved to Maine 4 years ago after retiring from the Army. I have lived in and traveled in many states accross the country. I have never seen a place that objects to almost anything that could bring in good jobs and revenue. Pipelines are also protested against. Just how are we supposed to transport energy into the region? Why not allow things in but challenge our local engineers to become innovators in safety technology and just insist the businesses that come meet those requirments? Or we could just become the number one employer of subway and dunkin donuts workers.

    • Sass Linneken

      I don’t think it’s about protesting jobs, it’s about protesting the destruction of the planet through the burning of fossil fuels and thus protesting anything associated with that. There is NO safe way to transport fossil fuels, so instead of trying to put the burden on those tasked with transporting it I think there should be a heavy investment in changing things up – in growing our renewable energy options. There are 5 times more reserves of fossil fuels than is safe to burn. It’s time to change.

      • rusty shackleford

        Just curious, how do you plan to keep your house warm THIS winter?
        Also, why is there protests against wind turbines as well?

        • Sass Linneken

          I plan to keep it heated with wood because it’s a renewable resource. I rent an old flip house that isn’t set up for radiant heat and I’m not in a position to yet buy a house with the green specs I want. With that said, I don’t find that to be a good reason not to support the idea of changing things. I didn’t build this system, I was born into it – people might try and find hypocrisy in my outlook because I live in the same system I’m pushing against but I don’t. The fact is, the planet is warming and combustion of fossil fuels is the primary driving force behind that. Additionally, the poor are the people paying the biggest price for this irresponsibility. That being the case, I will continue to support actions taken against our petroleum based economic practices and will support a cleaner, greener way of living. I will also do the best I can to live in this system in as sustainable a fashion as I possibly can, which is exactly what I do. As for the wind turbines, a lot of people protest against them because there is a lack of care taken in where they are located, etc. Industrial wind causes a lot of problems for the communities it resides in and the pay off does not come back to those communities, it goes to big cities in other states. Of course, this isn’t about wind, this is about fracked Bakken oil traveling through our state on subpar rail in dangerous cars that are not properly marked. This stuff is shipped in cars with the 1267 placard, which indicates conventional crude and that fuel is ANYTHING but conventional crude, it is so light it has been compared to gasoline. Even if I didn’t have an angle on climate change and fossil fuel combustion I’d still have a problem with these trains because the businesses sending this stuff through our communities are doing so with little to no contingency plan for helping communities adversely affected by spills and derailments, and they’re doing it using DOT 111 tank cars that are notorious for coming apart in derailments. Just look at what happened in Lac Megantic. Our first responders are not properly trained on how to deal with this stuff. It’s a nightmare and I think what these people did was excellent and on-point.

          • rusty shackleford

            thank you for your detailed and intelligent analysis of the train situaion. I also heat with wood but the electricity we all use does not come from renewables. As far as the wind turbines go, if people object to the location, they should buy the property so they can do whatever they want on it. If someone or a corporation owns the property and adhere to regulations on the environment they should be allowed to do as they wish on it.
            I spent many years in Washington state. they have many times more wild lands than we do and are a very environmental friendly state. they also however have been able to encourage massive amounts of industries to come in especially since they lost a lot of revenue in the 90’s with the logging shutting down over the spotted owl. They have a much more balanced approach to things and are able to protect their natural resources as well as encourage investment and economic growth.

  • Cathy P

    I was driving by when they were putting this sign up. They are lucky they didn’t cause a train accident themselves. They were standing on chairs on the trestle to put up the sign. This was right around 5:00 p.m. and there are trains that come through there at that time quite often. Luckily, the police took it down within minutes and before it came loose and got caught up in the engine or cars. If they are so worried about train derailments they should seriously think about HOW to safely get their point across. This was not it. Now they could also face charges of trespassing.

  • Guest

    I wonder how many of these people really know what other stuff is on the rails in Maine? It would scare the crap out of you. Just saying.