September 2, 2014

Rail safety measures due in Va. after oil-train wrecks

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The same day a CSX train carrying almost 3 million gallons of crude oil derailed in downtown Lynchburg, federal investigators took a sample of oil at a rail transfer terminal 1,750 miles away in North Dakota. The oil sampled in North Dakota was owned by Plains Marketing, the same Texas company that owned roughly 30,000 [...]

Grain piles up as trains move N.D. oil

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FARGO, N.D. – The furious pace of energy exploration in North Dakota is creating a crisis for farmers whose grain shipments have been held up by a vast new movement of oil by rail, leading to millions of dollars in agricultural losses and slower production for breakfast cereal giants like General Mills. The backlog is [...]

NS sues to block disclosure of crude oil shipments

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WASHINGTON – A major hauler of crude oil by rail has sued the state of Maryland to stop the public release of information about the shipments, according to court documents. The suit was filed Wednesday, the same day the U.S. Department of Transportation announced proposed rules to improve the safety of crude oil shipments by [...]

Seattle City Council seeks DOT emergency order

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SEATTLE – City Councilmember Mike O’Brien and all eight of his council colleagues signed a letter calling for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to issue an emergency order prohibiting the shipment of Bakken crude oil in legacy DOT-111 tank train cars. Bakken is highly flammable and easily ignited at normal temperatures by heat, static discharges, [...]

BNSF train carrying N.D. crude oil derails in Seattle

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A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train carrying crude oil derailed as it left a railyard in north Seattle on Thursday, but there were no reports of a spill or injuries, BNSF said in a statement. Four railcars came off the tracks at around 2 a.m. PDT (0900 GMT), three of which were carrying crude oil, [...]

Oil trains face test in new safety rules

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North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch has thrived thanks in large part to the once-niche business of hauling fuel on U.S. rail tracks. New safety rules may now test the oil train model. Within weeks, the Obama Administration is due to unveil a suite of reforms that will rewrite standards conceived long before the rise of [...]

Older rail tank cars may be phased out

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The oil industry and the railroads that haul its crude have offered U.S. regulators a joint plan to phase out a type of older tank car tied to a spate of fiery accidents, according to two people familiar with the proposal. The plan also calls for slightly thicker walls for new cars to make them [...]

One year after tragic Lac-Megantic accident

The Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO issued the following statement on the train accident in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that happened one year this week: This week marks the one year anniversary of a tragic rail accident – a runaway train carrying 72 cars of crude ran into Lac-Megantic, Quebec killing 47 people and demolishing an entire town. [...]

U.S. seen as biggest oil producer

The U.S. will remain the world’s biggest oil producer this year after overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia as extraction of energy from shale rock spurs the nation’s economic recovery, Bank of America Corp. said. U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output [...]

Feds say oil train details not security sensitive

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BILLINGS, Mont. – U.S. transportation officials said Wednesday that details about volatile oil train shipments are not sensitive security information, after railroads have sought to keep the material from the public following a string of fiery accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered railroads to give state officials specifics on oil-train routes and volumes [...]