Cal Poly students vote to oppose oil trains

The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Associated Students Inc. Board of Directors last month voted to pass a resolution to voice their opposition to the Phillips 66 rail spur project.

The Phillips 66 oil company wants to build a rail spur from the main railroad to their facility, allowing them to bring in oil trains through the city of San Luis Obispo, and the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission is currently reviewing it, conducting a hearing on it last week.

The resolution, authored by a trio of non-ASI member students, one of whom is on the ASI University Union Advisory Board, and sponsored by two members of ASI Board of Directors, called for opposition to the project.

“The proposal has already been officially opposed by the city of San Luis Obispo, as well as by 30 California cities, counties and school districts along the rail line, whom we support in their efforts to protect the welfare of all university, city, county and state residents.,” the resolution states, “ The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Director opposes the Phillips 66 company rail spur extension project due to the negative effects on student health and safety, and encourages the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission to reject this proposal.”

The resolution was opposed by ASI Board of Directors members Annalee Akin and Seth Borges, who argued that the Board shouldn’t speak on behalf of 20,000 students. A motion to indefinitely postpone the resolution failed a majority vote twice while a motion to approve it was passed by a majority voice vote.

When asked why he sponsored the resolution, Christopher Lopez, told Campus Reform, “There was no interest to sponsor the resolution when it was first presented to the board. As a board representative, it is our duty to represent the voice of the students. And for a group of students to put so much work into a topic, whether or not we agree, who are we to say that you can’t at least be heard at a meeting.”

Lopez ended up abstaining from the vote, which he said was close, though a majority of the board members voted for it.

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