Contact: Eva Westheimer, 513-600-0580,

Mel Packer, 412-307-6327

Oil Trains in Pittsburgh: Street Theater on Earth Day

(Pittsburgh, PA)- Members from Three Rivers Rising Tide, a community group confronting the root causes of climate change, held creative street theater at several different locations, including Market Square and Mellon Square during planned Earth Day Events.

The street theater consisted of several cardboard cutout oil trains, which ended up crashing and exploding, to bring attention to recent oil train derailments across the country, climate change, and the harms from oil trains to people. According to a recent PennEnvironment report over 60% of Pittsburghers, and 25 million other Americans live within a one mile oil train evacuation zone.

Eva Westheimer, member of Three Rivers Rising Tide, and ‘train conductor,’ said, “We are bringing attention to a huge issue of how we transport dangerous natural resources, not only in the Pittsburgh community, but in all communities. Trains are for people and not oil.”

The shipment of crude oil across the United States has increased by 4000% since 2008. Many attribute this to the increase in hydraulic fracturing, ‘fracking,’ for oil in Bakken Shale Deposit of North Dakota.

“Climate change does not just happen from our individual lifestyle choices, it is occurring because of dangerous and recklessness industries that put profit and their bottom line before people and the environment. No one deserves to live in harms way to a disaster waiting to happen.” Said Gabe McMorland, also a member of Three Rivers Rising Tide and one of the ‘oil trains.’ To view the whole interview with Three Rivers Rising Tide members:

The street theater brought attention to an issue that may not have been known by residents of Pittsburgh. This action is part of two weeks of actions standing up against many types of social and environmental injustice in the region. Visit for more information about the two weeks of intersectional action and for more video and photos of the actions.

Three Rivers Rising Tide works to confront the root causes of climate change, challenge extreme energy extraction, speak up for the natural world, and fight for community-led solutions to unjust political and economic systems. They are a new, local chapter of the international network Rising Tide North America. Visit for more information.



Written by eva