Darrin Radermacher- A fireball shoots up at the site of a train derailment near the North Dakota town of Casselton, Dec. 30, 2013.
A ProPublica analysis of federal government data adds new details to what’s known about the routes taken by trains carrying crude oil. Local governments are often unaware of the potential dangers they face.
by Isaiah Thompson, special to ProPublica, Nov. 25, 2014
The oil boom underway in North Dakota has delivered jobs to local economies and helped bring the United States to the brink of being a net energy exporter for the first time in generations.
But moving that oil to the few refineries with the capacity to process it is presenting a new danger to towns and cities nationwide — a danger many appear only dimly aware of and are ill-equipped to handle.
.... since 2012, when petroleum crude oil first began moving by rail in large quantities, there have been eight major accidents involving trains carrying crude in North America....
See our interactive map of the crude-oil train data.
In those and other cases, local emergency responders were overwhelmed by the conflagrations resulting from these accidents. Residents often had no idea that such a dangerous cargo, and in such volume, was being transported through their towns.... read more here
BERKELEY -- As the deadline arrived for comments to an environmental report on a Central California crude-by-rail project, a San Jose City councilman got the early jump, announcing his opposition in a news release Monday afternoon.
Likely itineraries for the crude oil supplies coming from out-of-state include the Union Pacific Railroad tracks along the eastern shore of San Pablo and San Francisco bays that also carry Amtrak's Capitol Corridor and Coast Starlight trains.
"This will allow mile-long oil trains carrying millions of gallons of explosive, toxic crude oil in unsafe tank cars to travel through California every day," reads a news release from San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra. "These trains will travel through the Bay Area passing neighborhoods in San Jose, including Kalra's District 2 in south San Jose. This proposed plan threatens the residents and families along the rail routes and also threatens the environment and local water supplies." ....
read more here