MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Demonstrators gathered outside the GM&O Terminal in Mobile Saturday to protest Tar Sands Tanker shipments.
The group Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition is concerned about a recent proposal to build a petroleum storage and distribution facility on Mobile's Waterfront.
American Tank and Vessel withdrew its application to construct a facility in early September. However, city officials said the company would re-apply.
Coalition member Kim McCuiston believes people on the gulf coast should be concerned about tar sands shipments in Mobile.
"As you can see right in back of me is trains containing crude Canadian dilbit. This is basically very toxic, very hazardous, it's explosive. This is not the kind of economy we want to see in Mobile," McCuiston said.
Joe Womack lives in Africatown. He's worried about the potential impact on the area if the facility were built.
"This is not right... Some has decided to make Mobile Alabama the tar sands capital of distribution and production throughout the world. They never asked us. This stuff is in our back yard. We don't want it.," Womack said.
Coalition members said tar sands are already moved through several south Alabama cities. They believe a new depot near the GM&O terminal would allow for a dramatic increase in the volume to tar sands coming through Mobile for export.
"It's being brought down here to be transferred on to barges and tanker trucks to be shipped over to the Pascagoula refinery, where they will ship it out. It's also going to Houston and that is for export to Asia and China. So, this isn't for us. Our gas prices are not going to go down," McCuiston said.
The coalition also says it's pleased with two recent court decisions against Plains Southcap, a company trying to build an oil pipeline through Mobile County.
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