Twenty people are confirmed dead and another thirty presumed dead from Saturday’s derailment and explosion of an oil tanker train in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.

moke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

moke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Meanwhile, the oil companies are trying to make this horrific disaster an argument for the Keystone XL and other tar sands pipelines, as if they don’t remember all the pipeline spills that occurred in just March and April alone. Thankfully, even the big environmental groups are doing a good job at staying on message with this one:

“To frame Keystone XL as something that can save us from oil on rail, it isn’t,” Anthony Swift, an energy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, said in a telephone interview. “This demonstrates the risks associated with moving crude oil across all modes of transportation.”

“It’s a false choice to choose between rail and pipelines,” Kate Colarulli, deputy director of the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Oil” campaign, said in an interview. “Communities are going to have to live under this threat of accidents until we reduce the oil we use.”

It’s important to remember, of course, that the oil and tar sands industry have made it abundantly clear that they fully intend to transport as much tar sands and fracked oil as possible by both pipeline and rail.