June 15, 2015 |
HEIMDAL, N.D. - Arden Georgeson, 78, thought the dark column rising skyward was a tornado. He shouted to his wife, Linda, 72, to run to the cellar. Then the Georgesons made out orange flames along the railroad tracks adjoining their farm, and the source of the smoke came into focus: A mile-long train transporting crude oil had derailed. The fiery wreck last month was the second in North Dakota since 2013, and the 10th in North America in two years, including five already in 2015.
June 8, 2015
ISSUE | OIL TRAINS Safer routes The reality is that Bakken oil trains endanger thousands in the Delaware Valley, rail accidents are a daily reality, and federal regulations are too weak ("Good safety record, getting better," June 2). Better to transport oil by ship through the Great Lakes directly to refineries. Leaders in City Hall need to demand that no lives be imperiled so that Philadelphia can become an energy hub. |Michael Volpe, Philadelphia, email@example.com ISSUE | CLIMATE Role for church Climate-altering pollution is leading to more deadly storms, drought, and famine - impacts disproportionately felt by the poorest in our communities ("Santorum says Pope Francis should butt out of climate debate," June 3)
June 3, 2015 |
Norfolk Southern Corp. touted its safety efforts in transporting crude oil in a letter to Gov. Wolf, but the railroad suggested it may file a legal challenge over some recent federal safety rules. Following the issuance of new rules by the U.S. Department of Transportation on May 8, "Norfolk Southern is still considering its legal options," the company's Chairman and CEO C.W. Moorman said in a letter delivered to Wolf on Monday. Like other railroads, Norfolk Southern was particularly "disappointed" with new rules on brakes that the railroad said would produce "little safety benefit," Moorman said.
June 3, 2015 |
Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., announced Monday it will acquire Dallas-based Bridger Logistics, L.L.C., a crude-oil transporter that supplies about a third of the petroleum consumed at the Monroe Energy L.L.C. refinery in Trainer, Pa. Ferrellgas, a propane distributor best known for its Blue Rhino brand of bottled gas, will pay $837.5 million for Bridger. Bridger owns and operates midstream assets, providing crude oil transport by road, rail and water to end markets across North America.
May 31, 2015 |
Responding to congressional and public criticism, federal regulators said Friday they would not weaken rules requiring certain disclosures about trains transporting crude oil and other hazardous materials. The Inquirer reported this week that new oil-train rules issued May 7 - to go into effect in October - by the U.S. Department of Transportation would end a 2014 requirement for railroads to share information about large volumes of crude oil with state emergency-response commissions.
May 25, 2015 |
When crude oil arrives at a refinery in South Philadelphia or Marcus Hook or Paulsboro, the refinery must have a public plan outlining the hazards, a detailed response to possible accidents, and worst-case scenarios for disasters that could endanger hundreds of thousands of people. Not so the trains carrying oil to the refineries. As they travel past the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia International Airport, along the Schuylkill Expressway, and past thousands of homes, schools and businesses, the oil trains need no public accounting of what they are carrying, or when or where, or what could happen if something goes wrong.
May 9, 2015 |
Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. of Philadelphia is expected to operate and own a 30 percent share of the Bakken Pipeline project, a 1,100-mile pipeline that will deliver about 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day from North Dakota shale fields. The project is jointly owned by Phillips 66 and Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (ETP), the parent company of Sunoco Logistics. When the pipeline is completed next year, it will connect North Dakota oil producers to Patoka, Ill., where the new pipeline will interconnect with ETP's existing Trunkline Pipeline that runs to the Gulf Coast.
April 30, 2015 |
The Wolf administration is hiring a railroad engineering expert for three months to advise on ways to prevent oil-train accidents. Allan M. Zarembski, a University of Delaware research professor and director of the university's railroad engineering and safety program, will study oil-train risk factors and make recommendations to improve operations in Pennsylvania, said Jeff Sheridan, spokesman for Wolf. "The governor wants to make sure we can prevent an oil-train disaster in Pennsylvania," Sheridan said.
April 27, 2015
Divert the oil trains The challenge of choosing between a green city or an energy hub for Philadelphia shows who is calling the shots ("Earth Day challenge: Green city or energy hub?" April 22). The oil and gas lobby is alive and well. Unfortunately, too many politicians are only too happy to take the industry's donations and dance to its tune. We do not need more pipes or tanker cars bringing oil and gas to be processed here. The risk of air and water contamination is too great.
April 13, 2015 |
About half the crude oil that now moves by rail in America is bound for Mid-Atlantic states, mostly refineries near Philadelphia, data from the U.S. Energy Department show. More than 33.7 million barrels of crude were shipped by rail in January, a fiftyfold increase from 630,000 barrels in January 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That tremendous growth in crude-by-rail shipments - which already has triggered safety concerns after a series of fiery oil-train derailments - has broader implications for regional transportation systems and foreign trade.