July 6, 2014, 11am PDT
July 6, 2014 marks the one-year anniversary of North America's most catastrophic energy calamity when a runaway oil unit train carrying Bakken crude exploded in this small Quebec town killing 47 people and incinerating ten blocks of its downtown.
July 1, 2014, 10am PDT
After the Federal Railroad Administration issued an emergency order on May 7 that Bakken information about oil shipments be shared with appropriate state agencies, question arose about whether that information could be shared with the public.
June 18, 2014, 10am PDT
A major challenge facing oil companies in the Uinta Basin is how to transport the crude to market. Alignments have been winnowed and the mode appears to be selected - rail. Total cost: $2 billion to extract $30 billion worth of oil and gas reserves.
June 10, 2014, 8am PDT
While regulated on the federal level, there is still much that can be done on a state level, including adding per-barrel fees to pay for cleanup plans. Plus, a new regulation took effect requiring railroads to notify states about Bakken crude trains.
May 26, 2014, 1pm PDT
Keystone XL pipeline builder TransCanada is in the business of transporting oil to its customers, preferably by pipelines, but it's CEO has stated for the first time it will turn to "more costly and and controversial rail" to fill the pipeline gap.
May 24, 2014, 9am PDT
Notwithstanding an emergency order DOT issued on May 7 that railroads must provide cities oil train information, secrecy continues to cloak the transport of hazardous oil shipments leaving first responders ill-prepared to handle fiery explosions.
May 9, 2014, 6am PDT
In what is being billed as the first emergency order of more to come, the Department of Transportation (DOT), the federal regulator of transporting crude oil by rail, hopes to quell the growing national furor over what some call 'ticking time bombs'.
May 3, 2014, 7am PDT
The derailment of the CSX oil unit train in downtown Lynchburg, Va. on April 30 and subsequent fire and oil spill into the James River caught Lynchburg, Va. officials off-guard, who were unaware of the oil shipments, let alone how to handle crashes.
The Wall Street Journal - U.S.
May 2, 2014, 6am PDT
Fortunately, there were no injuries in the restored, downtown waterfront district in this city of 71,000. Fifteen cars derailed; three exploded into a six-story-high fireball. Oil spilled into the James River, threatening downstream water supplies.
April 25, 2014, 8am PDT
Transport Canada jumped past U.S. DOT on April 23 by taking decisive action on "exploding" oil tank cars that are traveling throughout North America due largely to an insufficient oil pipeline network. Within three years, the older cars must go.
April 22, 2014, 8am PDT
A California legislator warns that if the Keystone XL pipeline is rejected, expect tar sands to be transported by rail to Calif. refineries and ports. Increasing oil production would reduce oil imports, but a fracking moratorium bill has advanced.
April 19, 2014, 11am PDT
Sure, it costs more than moving by pipeline—double or triple the price per barrel. But look at the speed: five days versus 40. A new rail terminal in Beaumont, Texas sheds light on the economics that make CBR attractive to shippers and refineries.
The New York Times - U.S. - The Texas Tribune
March 20, 2014, 7am PDT
All but 10% of the CBR went to Southern California refineries, though Bay Area shipments grew by 57% and provoked the largest outcry. The Northern California deliveries are mostly from North Dakota, with 12.5% from Colorado.
March 17, 2014, 9am PDT
The Port of Albany is thriving as a major hub for CBR shipments from the Bakken field in North Dakota and Saskatchewan province. But we learn there are limits to further growth after the city slapped a moratorium on expansion to oil sands from Canada
March 16, 2014, 7am PDT
The hazards of shipping North Dakotan crude-by-rail have been well documented and are the focus of new DOT regulations due to its volatility, but there's a more positive side to this oil and the trains that deliver it, illustrated in Philadelphia.
March 4, 2014, 9am PST
Crude-by-rail from the Bakken shale formation has transformed the sleepy Port of Albany, NY into a major supplier of cheaper crude for East Coast refineries. Jad Mouawad writes two articles on the importance of the port and the dangers from the oil.
The New York Times - Energy & Environment
February 27, 2014, 10am PST
The full declaration on CBR by DOT regulators was “an imminent hazard to public health and safety and the environment." An immediate safety order was issued requiring vigorous testing of crude and prohibition of use of some tanker cars.
The Wall Street Journal - U.S.
February 24, 2014, 7am PST
Ernest Moniz weighs-in on the exponential, and at times, explosive (literally) growth of moving crude oil by rail (CBR). His main point: pipelines are safer than rail. Science magazine editor Marcia McNutt points to pipelines' environmental benefits.
February 20, 2014, 10am PST
The Bay Area port city of Pittsburg is considering an application to rebuild and upgrade an existing oil terminal that would receive the explosive crude-by-rail from North Dakota, and residents are making their opposition heard.
February 6, 2014, 11am PST
In the first case of its kind, federal regulators fined three oil companies for allegedly either failing to test, or improperly testing crude from the Bakken Shale in N.D., resulting in rail companies not knowing which type of oil tanker cars to use.