Western NY, Finger Lakes, & the Southern Tier

Ask your State Senators to support Senate Bill 5751-A!


Call and/or arrange to meet with your New York State Senator!


The bill: The Surety Bill (Senate Bill 5751-A) would amend existing NY shipping law to require companies shipping Bakken crude by rail to comply with the same regulations that apply to shipping on NY waterways.  They would have to prove up front, before shipping, that they have the financial resources to cover their financial liability in case of a derailment and fire.  They could do this by proving they have insurance, a letter of credit or by posting a surety bond.

The bill has passed the Assembly in the last two sessions with overwhelming support, but it has been stuck in the Senate in the Environmental Conservation Committee.

Please call your senator’s office and ask him to cosponsor this bill and do everything he/she can to help it get out of committee for a vote on the Senate floor.

You can find your Senator's contact information here:


After your call, please let us know how it went by clicking here.  With your help, we'll know how many calls we can generate and how much power we have!


Call script ideas:

My name is _______.  I’m a constituent of Senator _____ , from the town of ____________ . I’m a volunteer/organizer with the group "Mothers Out Front," and we are concerned about the devastating effects of climate change on our children's future.

I’m calling to urge him/her to sponsor Senate Bill 5751-A, The Petroleum Storage Surety Bill, and to do everything he/she can to see that the Environmental Conservation Committee holds hearings on it. I feel strongly about this bill because ________ (share one or two reasons - see below).

Talking points:  Please choose one or two reasons for supporting the bill or add your own.  Please use your own words if possible.

  • New Yorkers gain nothing from this oil being shipped across the state to be sent to refineries elsewhere. Rail accidents involving this oil have been frequent and devastating. An explosion would result in the destruction of everything within one mile of the tracks, which pass through many communities in New York State. We should do all we can to protect ourselves from this risk.
  • The surety requirements are basic fair regulations. We don’t allow uninsured drivers on our roads and we shouldn’t allow uninsured transporters of hazardous materials. The shippers of this oil should be held responsible for the dangers they impose on our communities. It’s fair and sensible. It still won’t protect our lives, but at least it could help us clean up damages and rebuild.
  • Bakken oil is “extreme oil,” which endangers our environment when it is fracked, when it is transported, and at every transfer point, as the gases emitted are dangerous green-house gases (86 times worse than CO2).  
  • We believe climate change is a real and grave threat to everything that mothers and all parents want for our children: health, security, and a future with promise. It is time for a swift, just and complete transition to clean energy. Every day that passes with our continued dependence on fossil fuels imperils not only our children, but all people and all living systems. This is one small measure that can make a difference, and we want you to support it as well as other measures to fight climate change.
  • There are aspects of this oil that should probably be federally regulated, but with the state of national politics being what it is, we need to do all we can to protect New Yorkers.  This is a sensible minimum approach.



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