IN THE NEWS

Oil

BUSINESS
June 3, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
June 3, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
May 31, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
May 25, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
April 30, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
BUSINESS
April 13, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
March 18, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D., Pa.), reacting to growing anxiety over fiery railroad derailments of crude-oil tankers, on Monday pushed for legislation that could provide new resources and training to emergency personnel. "This legislation is a commonsense approach that could give our first responders more training and the additional resources they need," Casey said at a news conference in Philadelphia. The RESPONSE Act, written by U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), would establish a subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Council to address training of first responders, particularly in smaller communities.
NEWS
March 18, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
CITING THE GROWING number of railroad cars carrying crude oil through Philadelphia and the state, and a handful of recent derailments, Sen. Bob Casey yesterday called for the passage of federal legislation aimed at increasing railroad safety. Casey, joined at a City Hall news conference by City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, said that although the recent local derailments did not result in oil leakage or injuries, Congress should be proactive in preventing more serious accidents in the future.
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