Monday, December 22, 2014

Climate, Oil, Rail- the "what me worry?" edition....

Why 'climate change' will not be on our 2015 editorial agenda

12/20/14    By The Oregonian Editorial Board

We asked readers last month to help us choose the six or seven topics that will constitute our 2015 editorial agenda. Readers responded with scores of online comments and dozens of emails and letters to the editor, many of which urged us to focus on climate change, either as a stand-alone agenda item or a core component of an item focusing on environmental issues. These readers will be disappointed when our agenda appears next month.....   read more here

How Native Americans have shaped the year's biggest environmental debates

And how lawmakers can improve their record next year.

Krista Langlois Dec. 17, 2014   High Country News
As we head into 2015, here’s a look back at how Western tribes shaped — or tried to shape — some of the year’s biggest natural resource stories...... more here

Even oil could face rail shortages soon

Mark Reilly, Managing Editor- Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal   12/22/14
Tougher rules on shipping crude by rail mean oil producers in North Dakota's Bakken region could soon face the unwelcome choice of spending more to ship by truck or cutting back on production altogether.

That's the takeaway from a Wall Street Journal report that says that the Railway Supply Institute is warning that tens of thousands of rail cars will be sidelined because they no longer meet code in the wake of new safety regulations on shipping crude oil by train.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has mandated that rail cars carrying flammable liquids meet higher safety standards. North Dakota regulators also toughened its own rules on shipping, saying that volatile gases had to be removed from crude oil before shipping....   read more here

Marni Pyke    Daily Herald   Dec. 22, 2014

A continued spike in oil trains and recent high-profile explosions and pollution spills across the United States have suburban fire departments playing defense.

First-responders interviewed by the Daily Herald for this series of reports on railway hazardous materials releases said they train continually and have mutual aid agreements for worst-case scenarios. But all the forethought in the world could be trumped by issues beyond their control, authorities warn.

"If you had a major incident involving Bakken oil, it would tax several community resources, not just one community," Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Keith Krestan said.

"We train ... we are prepared for the 'what ifs.' But ... no department in the state of Illinois is going to have all the resources on hand to deal with a major railroad incident."...    read more here

Oil links today:       h/t naked capitalism

An Annotated History Of Oil Prices Since 1861 Business Insider
The reason oil could drop as low as $20 per barrel Reuters
U.S. Seeks BP Fine of Up to $18 Billion for Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Bloomberg
The Alarming Research Behind New York’s Fracking Ban The Atlantic
Hopes, Fears, Doubts Surround Cuba’s Oil Future ABC. “One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba’s northwest coast.” So now they tell us.

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