Five people are confirmed dead and 40 people remain missing in the small hamlet of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where a train with 73 carloads full of Bakken shale oil derailed explosively, incinerating 30 buildings on Saturday.
Local resident Henri-Paul Audette told the Huffington Post that his brother’s apartment was next to the railroad tracks, very close to the spot where the train derailed.
“I haven’t heard from him since the accident,” he said. “I had thought … that I would see him.”
This is by all accounts, a major tragedy, lives have been lost, loved ones remain missing and a small town has been nearly wiped off the map. There are still a lot of unknowns about this disaster, but that has not stopped supporters of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from using the horrific events in Lac-Megantic to promote the pipeline.
In a commentary piece published in the Globe and Mail on Sunday, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a “senior fellow” at the Exxon- and Koch-funded Manhattan Institute writes,
“After Saturday’s tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Que., it is time to speed up the approval of new pipeline construction in North America. Pipelines are the safest way of transporting oil and natural gas, and we need more of them, without delay.”
No kidding, Furchgott-Roth wants no more delay in the Keystone XL pipeline, since she has been advocating on behalf of the oil industry in one form or another for more than 25 years, with stints as an economist at the American Petroleum Institute and the oil industry-backed American Enterprise Institute.
Working for oil company front groups is one thing, but using the tragedy still unfolding in Quebec to argue for more oil pipelines is a whole new level of low.
Image credit: Transportation Safety Board