November 26, 2014

N.D. considers rules to make oil by rail safer

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North Dakota’s energy regulators are considering new rules to make the state’s “Bakken” crude oil, which has been involved in a number of explosive train crashes, safer to move by rail. Proposed standards announced Thursday by the state Department of Mineral Resources follow a series of fiery rail accidents over the last 18 months that [...]

New oil train safety rules divide rail industry

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Three days after an oil train derailed and exploded in 2013 in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 people, Greg Saxton wandered through the disaster site inspecting tank cars. For Saxton, the damage was personal. Some of the tank cars were built by Greenbrier, an Oregon-based manufacturer where he’s chief engineer. Almost every car that derailed was [...]

Railroads press against proposals to slow oil trains

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U.S. railroads are rallying customers, including lumber and steel companies, to fight a government proposal to slow trains hauling crude oil. Urged by railroads, more than a dozen companies and business groups are warning regulators that cutting speeds to 40 mph from 50 mph would have a cascading effect, delaying other trains sharing the tracks [...]

Railroads sue California over new crude oil rules

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California’s two major railroad companies have filed suit in federal court challenging a state law requiring railroads to come up with an oil spill prevention and response plan. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, contends federal laws largely prohibit states from imposing safety rules on railroads such as the ones [...]

Rail groups push feds to drop Bakken oil rule

WASHINGTON — Two railroad industry trade groups have quietly asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to drop its requirement that rail carriers transporting large volumes of Bakken crude oil notify state emergency officials. The railroads have maintained that they already provide communities with adequate information about hazardous materials shipments and that public release of the [...]

Oil, rail industries want seven years to fix tank cars

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The oil and railroad industries are urging federal regulators to allow them as long as seven years to retrofit existing tank cars that transport highly volatile crude oil, a top oil industry official said Tuesday (Sept. 30). The cars have ruptured and spilled oil during collisions, leading to intense fires. Jack Gerard, president of the [...]

Crude oil train safety regulator steps down

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The head of the federal agency tasked with improving the safety of crude oil transportation by rail is stepping down. Cynthia Quarterman, who has led the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration since 2009, will leave an agency that recently proposed sturdier construction standards for tank cars carrying flammable liquids such as crude oil and [...]

BNSF: Keystone pipeline won’t dent crude by rail

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One of the top executives at the nation’s leading hauler of crude oil in trains said Friday that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t take away any of his company’s business. Matt Rose, the executive chairman of BNSF Railway, told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo that the controversial pipeline project would move primarily heavy crude [...]

Chicago wants tighter rules on crude oil trains

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Warning that the frequent railroad trains loaded with crude oil passing through the Chicago area are a “serious risk to public safety,” the City Council is calling for tighter restrictions on the shipments than federal officials proposed in July. Council members on Tuesday also asked that the city and other municipalities be given the authority [...]

Oil train regulation passes in California

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California lawmakers on Friday (Aug. 29) passed legislation requiring railroad companies to tell emergency officials when crude oil trains will chug through the state. The bill would require railroads to notify the state’s Office of Emergency Services when trains carrying crude oil from Canada and North Dakota are headed to refineries in the most populous [...]