People B4 Profits was organized after a powerful speaking team was assembled from three corners of the continent to raise public awareness about the dangers associated with hazardous materials that are transported yards away from our homes, schools, and other public locations.


Video Presentation – October 10, 2019


Keynote Presentation – Oil Trains:  Are Profits Worth Our Risk?

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JUSTIN MIKULKA is an investigative journalist for the independent news and research organization DeSmog and author of the book, Bomb Trains: How Industry Greed and Regulatory Failure Put the Public at Risk. For the past five years, Justin has reported on the growing threat of explosive oil and ethanol trains in North America. Mikulka holds a degree in environmental engineering from Cornell University. He currently lives in Trumansburg, New York.

For Purchase on Amazon
Bomb Trains: How Industry Greed and Regulatory Failure Put the Public at Risk

BRUCE CAMPBELL is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of Canada’s leading independent think tanks. Author of The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied, Campbell also wrote three major reports and a number of media commentaries on the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, in which he chronicles the history of regulatory and managerial failure that made the Lac- Mégantic wreck invisible and which drives the increasingly risky industry that hasn’t learned any of the lessons revealed there.

For Purchase on Amazon:
The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied

JIM APPLETON was Fire Chief in Mosier, Oregon from 2009 through 2017. First on scene, he served as Incident Commander for the June 2016 oil train derailment and fire in Mosier and Local On-Scene Coordinator throughout the cleanup. Appleton offers key observations and lessons from his firsthand experience, the sum of which he states, “is that no one should have to go through what we did.”

GERRI SONGER began speaking out at village board meetings May of 2014 in her home town after seeing an increased presence of trains at all hours of the day and night and demanded public transparency. Through public records, she learned these trains were transporting toxic, hazardous, and explosive substances, and her research showed that many such trains have met with fiery accidents and created hazardous runoff. Songer is an educator, a local activist, the Legislative Director of Northwest Suburban Teachers’ Union Local 1211 – IFT-AFT, and a former political candidate.