October 30, 2014

Oil trains push states to create response plans

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States from California to Maine are hiring rail inspectors and oil-spill experts as they draw up emergency plans after trains carrying crude derailed and burst into fireballs, including a crash in Quebec that killed 47. In California, Governor Jerry Brown is proposing a 15 percent funding boost for his response agency. New York Governor Andrew [...]

N.D. governor, reps. question BNSF officials

FARGO, North Dakota — North Dakota’s two senators took turns peppering two BNSF executives Saturday on the railroad company’s plans to prevent another train derailment like last month’s crash and fire near Casselton. The Dec. 30 collision that happened when a train carrying soybeans derailed and caused a train carrying crude oil to derail one [...]

Senators call for review of oil shipments by rail

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WASHINGTON Two Senate committee chairmen asked the secretaries of transportation and energy on Thursday to take “prompt and decisive action” to resolve recent safety problems with crude oil transported by rail. A series of fiery derailments, including a deadly wreck in Quebec last summer and a near-miss last week in North Dakota, have gained the [...]

Oil-train crashes spur safety scrutiny

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Rail-safety advocates and members of Congress are calling for stricter tank-car safety standards in the wake of a major oil-by-rail accident this week, an appeal that took on new urgency Thursday with the release of a federal advisory that oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation may be more flammable than other types of crude. A [...]

Warning issued about oil shipped from N.D., Mont.

BILLINGS, Mont. – Following a string of explosive accidents, federal officials say crude oil being shipped by rail from the Northern Plains across the U.S. and Canada may be more flammable than traditional forms of oil. A safety alert issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation warns the public, emergency responders and shippers about the [...]

Rise of oil trains fueling concerns in small towns

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WOLF POINT, Mont. – It’s tough to miss the trains hauling crude oil out of the Northern Plains. They are growing more frequent by the day, mile-long processions of black tank cars that rumble through wheat fields and towns, along rivers and national parks. As common as they have become across the U.S. and Canada, [...]

Regulators look at Northwest oil train safety

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SEATTLE – Environmental regulators from the Northwest deliberated Wednesday about the dramatic changes in the way oil and other energy products are carried through the region. At a task force meeting of West Coast states, Linda Pilkey-Jarvis of the Washington Department of Ecology described the sudden increase in oil trains coming into the state and [...]

Rails sticking to their bets on oil boom

As 57,000 miles of U.S. crude pipelines threaten to lure business from railroads, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific Corp. are sticking to their bet on the nation’s energy boom. Domestic oil that was significantly cheaper than imported crude for the last two years allowed refiners to pay rail service’s higher transportation costs rather [...]

Unsafe rail cars carry oil through U.S. towns

The number of freight trains carrying oil across America has soared in the past five years, but federal officials warn that the massive steel tank cars that carry most of that oil through towns and past schools – the same cars that exploded in Quebec this summer, killing 47 – may be unsafe and prone [...]

N.D. oil boom seen adding costs for rail safety

Crude oil shipped by railroad from North Dakota is drawing fresh scrutiny from regulators concerned that the cargo is adding environmental and safety hazards, something that analysts say could raise costs. The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration is investigating whether chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are corroding rail tank cars and increasing risks. Separately, three pipeline [...]