March 7, 2014 |
EDDYSTONE A waterfront rail terminal in Eddystone, a small Delaware County borough, will soon become a major center for transporting crude oil to area refineries. While officials applaud the project as a boost to the local economy, they also point to the threat of a disaster in the state's growing oil-by-rail industry. "Make no mistake," said former U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon. "An incident involving rail transport of oil will occur in the commonwealth, and lives, including first responders' lives, and property will be put at risk.
March 1, 2014 |
The new owners of the former NuStar Asphalt refinery in Paulsboro plan to upgrade the Gloucester County facility to take advantage of the growing cross-country shipments of crude oil by rail. Axeon Specialty Products L.L.C., the new name adopted this week by the San Antonio company that operates the refinery, says it intends to make "new, substantial investments" in its 70,000-barrel-a-day operation in Paulsboro, including new rail unloading facilities. The Paulsboro plant now can receive only a small number of railcars at one time, said Rod Pullen, a senior vice president at Axeon SP. The aim is to add more unloading capacity so that Axeon can order cost-efficient unit trains - 100-car trains that carry a single commodity to a single destination.
February 1, 2014 |
A key power plant on the Center City steam loop that supplies the area around Thomas Jefferson University Hospital ran perilously short of fuel oil last week, prompting state and local officials to help arrange a rescue. Veolia Energy officials said a new oil supplier failed to deliver fuel to its Edison Station plant at 908 Sansom St., which provides high-pressure steam to the eastern part of Veolia's district heating system. Michael Smedley, Veolia's regional vice president, said the system that serves dozens of city hospitals, universities, and Center City office towers was in no danger of losing heat.
January 30, 2014 |
A spill of about 1,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River near Trainer, Delaware County, was largely cleaned up Tuesday, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The spill happened about 1 p.m. Monday when a pipe burst in the marine off-loading area at the Monroe Energy L.L.C. refinery, just south of the Commodore Barry Bridge. The majority of the oil is gone, said DEP spokeswoman Deborah Fries. "What is remaining is sheen. " She said the cold weather helped response workers do their job. Cold oil has a higher viscosity, which made it easier to collect and contain, she said.
January 30, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Mike Austin knew it was bad when his cellphone buzzed after 12:30 a.m. Quickly, he scribbled notes and called a coworker: "Train derailment. Seven cars. It's on a bridge. I'm going to need help. " Then he hopped into his white Chevrolet Suburban and drove 21/2 hours from a sleepy Baltimore suburb toward Philadelphia, to which derailment experts from around the country were being summoned. Their task: Remove tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil and more than 1.8 million pounds of train cars from atop the Schuylkill Arsenal Bridge.
January 29, 2014 |
SO, I'M TALKING to a young truck driver. He's a kid, really, but old enough to have a bachelor's degree in something. He's postponed his career for a temporary but lucrative sojourn in the oil field. The Eagle Ford Shale, a major oil and gas play in south Texas, is thriving on improved fracking technologies that extract previously unavailable hydrocarbons and contribute significantly to our nation's production boom. Fracking requires truckloads of water and plenty of drivers to service the new wells that pop up across the landscape every week.
January 23, 2014 |
The Monday derailment of a freight train carrying crude oil to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery has triggered a new round of alarm over petroleum shipments by rail, but has not affected operations at the South Philadelphia refinery. CSX Corp. crews began transferring oil and sand Tuesday from seven cars that derailed on a bridge spanning the Schuylkill in Grays Ferry. The cars were at the end of a 101-car train traveling from Chicago to Philadelphia, carrying crude oil from North Dakota.
January 22, 2014 |
IT COULD HAVE been worse - a lot worse. None of the seven CSX cars - six of them loaded with volatile crude oil - that derailed on the 128-year-old rail bridge over the Schuylkill between University City and Grays Ferry about 12:30 a.m. yesterday fell onto the busy expressway, which would have risked a fiery conflagration. And none of the oil-laden tanker cars - criticized by experts and environmentalists as too easy to rupture - broke open and spilled into the waterway as they tilted precariously, although the Coast Guard rushed a boat to the scene and placed booms across the river just in case.
January 10, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board will hold a hearing Thursday in West Chester to accept comments on proposed oil and gas regulations, including shale-gas development. The hearing, among several scheduled across the state, will be held at 6 p.m. at West Chester University of Pennsylvania's Sykes Student Union Theater, 110 West Rosedale Ave. Speakers need to reserve a time by calling 717-787-4526. The independent board reviews all Department of Environmental Protection regulations.
November 27, 2013
A RECENT National Public Radio report made much of financial troubles in the Philadelphia schools, and shortfalls of a few hundred million dollars. This is an economic problem that could be solved with a fraction of the money taken from the pockets of Philadelphia citizens by the high price of oil. The U.S. currently pays $94 each for 19 million barrels of crude oil every day. Under President Clinton, the price averaged $26 per barrel in today's dollars and the oil companies made good profits at that price.