WASHINGTON (AP) — Four trains hauling crude oil have derailed in the U.S. and Canada since mid-February, rupturing tank cars, spilling their contents, polluting waterways and igniting spectacular fires that burned for days.
The derailments have deepened safety concerns that if an oil-train accident were to occur in a populated area, the results could be disastrous.
Responding to a request from Reps. Ted Lieu and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has sent a team to Torrance to investigate last month’s explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery, the Los Angeles Times reports.
GOGAMA, Ontario (AP) — A CN Rail train carrying crude oil derailed early Saturday in northern Ontario, causing numerous tank cars to catch fire and spill into a local river system, officials said.
It was the third CN oil train derailment in northern Ontario in less than a month, and the second in the same area, renewing concerns about the safety of shipping crude oil by train and further suggesting that new safety requirements for tank cars carrying flammable liquids are inadequate. CN said the cars had been retrofitted with protective shields to meet a higher safety standard known as the 1232.
At a hearing Thursday, State Sen. Isadore Hall told Brian Ablett -- manager of Exxon Mobil's Torrance refinery -- that lawmakers would hold the company “accountable” for last month’s explosion at the facility, which Ablett said was caused by pressure in an emission control device, the Los Angeles Times reports.
GALENA, Ill. (AP) — The rail cars that split open and burst into flames during a western Illinois oil train derailment this week were retrofitted with protective shields to meet a higher safety standard than federal law requires, railroad officials said.
The fire continued to burn Friday, a day after 21 of the train's 105 cars derailed in a rural area south of the city of Galena. No injuries were reported, but the accident was the latest in a series of failures for the safer tank-car model that has led some people calling for even tougher requirements.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., told a hearing Thursday on the Torrance refinery explosion that he would ask the U.S. Chemical Safety Board to investigate the accident, while outside the hearing refinery workers issued warnings about safety practices, KCLA reports.
GALENA, Ill. (AP) — A freight train loaded with crude oil derailed in northern Illinois, bursting into flames and prompting officials to suggest that everyone with 1 mile evacuate, authorities said.
The BNSF Railway train derailed Thursday afternoon in a rural area where the Galena River meets the Mississippi, according to company spokesman Andy Williams. The train had 103 cars loaded with crude oil, along with two buffer cars loaded with sand. A cause for the derailment hadn't yet been determined. No injuries were reported.
Saying that stiffer safety requirements under consideration are not enough, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has written to the Energy and Transportation Secretaries, demanding that volatile gases get removed from crude before it is transported by rail, FuelFix reports.
The quantity of combustible gas contained in the crude oil on the train that derailed in West Virginia last month was greater than levels permissible in a new North Dakota standard set to take effect in April, according The Wall Street Journal.
Because of market conditions, Alliance Resources Partners isn’t bringing almost 5 million short tons of coal online from several of its operations despite having the capacity to do so, company chief Joseph Craft III said in a webcast last week, Platts reports.
If a measure approved by the California Assembly last week becomes law, the state could have the toughest restrictions in the country on microbeads manufacturers put in products like toothpaste and cleansers, The New York Times reports.
Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who was an electricity regulator before being elected to Congress, backs legislation that would let states opt out of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s prospective rule limiting power plant carbon emissions, E&E reports.
A jump in the value of the dollar pressured oil prices Tuesday. U.S. benchmark crude slid more than 2.8 percent, losing $1.69 to settle at $58.03 a barrel, while in London, Brent fell $1.80 - almost 2.8 percent - to $63.72, Reuters reports.
An energy storage system based on batteries will be installed by Duke Energy at the site of a retired coal-fired plant in New Richmond, Ohio, to help regulate grid frequency for PJM Interconnection, the Dayton Daily News reports.
The Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University is partnering with EnergySage Inc. to launch an online solar energy marketplace to hook up solar vendors with potential customers in the state, Triangle Business Journal reports.