Libya's parliament authorized a special military force to move within the week to wrest control of oil ports from militias, but the military is expected to struggle against the seasoned militia members, Reuters reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Government regulators are taking too long to write new rail safety regulations in light of recent fiery oil train accidents and a deadly commuter train derailment, frustrated senators said Thursday.
Railroads are also taking too long implement safety improvements Congress ordered under legislation passed seven years ago, lawmakers complained at a hearing of the Senate's surface transportation panel.
TORONTO (AP) — The crude oil that exploded during a fatal derailment in Quebec last year that killed 47 people had characteristics similar to that of unleaded gasoline, a highly flammable liquid, Canada's transportation safety agency said Thursday.
The Transportation Safety Board said in a newly released report that the crude tested by Canada's transportation agency had a low flash point, which refers to the temperature at which the crude gives off enough vapor to ignite in air.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal regulators offered more details on testing requirements for oil transported by rail on Thursday and warned companies against skirting the rules after a spate of explosions caused by crude train derailments in the U.S. and Canada.
The new order from the U.S. Department of Transportation builds on a Feb. 25 declaration that the industry's unsafe handling practices have made crude shipments an imminent hazard to public safety and the environment.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York state Department of Transportation has fined CSX Railroad $10,000, saying it failed to report two oil train derailments within an hour of when they happened as required by state law.
A Feb. 25 derailment in Kingston involved empty rail cars that had contained crude oil. A Feb. 28 derailment at the Selkirk yard near Albany involved a train loaded with crude oil. The cars remained upright and nothing spilled.
American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard, at a House hearing, criticized the recent emergency order regarding testing of crude before transporting it, calling the wording confusing, but PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman said it was ambiguous in order to give shippers flexibility, National Journal reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rail tank cars being used to ship crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region are an "unacceptable public risk," and even cars voluntarily upgraded by the industry may not be sufficient, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.
The cars, known as DOT-111s, were involved in derailments of oil trains in Casselton, N.D., and Lac-Megantic, Quebec, just across the U.S. border, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said at a House Transportation subcommittee hearing.
Forty-seven people were killed and 30 buildings destroyed in the blaze ignited by the Lac-Megantic accident. The Casselton accident, which occurred half a mile outside the town, created a massive fire that burned for more than 24 hours.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators issued an emergency order Tuesday requiring more stringent testing of crude oil before shipment by rail to determine how susceptible the cargo is to explosion or fire, a response to a string of train accidents since last summer involving oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.
The order also would place crude oil under more protective sets of hazardous materials shipping requirements, rather than allowing some shipments to be treated as less dangerous, the Transportation Department said.
That means the fuel may no longer be carried by tank cars that lack certain safety features, according to government officials. That includes 1,100 cars that account for about 3 percent of the total crude fleet, according to the Association of American Railroads.
House Transportation and Infrastructure railroads subcommittee hearing, "Oversight of Passenger and Freight Rail Safety." Federal Railroad Administration head Joseph Szabo, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration head Cynthia L. Quarterman, National Transportation Safety Board member Robert L. Sumwalt to testify.
Support for a review of any proposal to send Canadian oil sands crude through the Portland Montreal Pipe Line by Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has environmentalists wondering if she will rethink her support for the Keystone XL project, E&E reports.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that pits an electronics manufacturer against North Carolina landowners over groundwater pollution and whether a state statute takes precedence over federal law that exempts toxic waste cases from deadlines, E&E reports.
All four candidates vying for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in the November election said they didn’t think climate change was a fact, when asked the question in a debate Tuesday night, The Hill reports.
Arch Coal’s investment in DKRW’s proposed coal gasification plant has cost it $57 million, according to the annual report the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.
The EU’s top energy official will discuss sending gas to Ukraine through Slovakia in negotiations Thursday, and on Monday Moscow hosts Kiev’s energy minister for talks on Russian gas prices for Ukraine, Reuters reports.
Phil Radford, who became the youngest person to head the American operation for Greenpeace, is departing after four years of working on broadening the environmental group’s reach, National Journal reports.
The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has lifted an eight month ban on the country’s two biggest refiners starting new projects, after China National Petroleum Corp. and Sinopec met pollution targets, The Wall Street Journal reports.