“This needs to be fixed:” FOX6 finds a new “risk on the rails,” could Milwaukee be the next Quebec?

WITI | May 12, 2015 | Report by Brad Hicks

Last year, the FOX6 Investigators were the first to expose a new risk on the rails — a steady stream of long oil trains trekking across the state from North Dakota. The crude oil they carry from what’s called “The Bakken” is highly explosive. Since then, there has been growing public concern about these so-called “bomb trains” in Wisconsin. Now, there’s a new concern, in a neighborhood in Milwaukee.

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Oil Industry Asks Court to Block Rail Transport Safety Rules

The New York Times | May 12, 2015 | Column by Jad Mouawad

The oil industry is challenging new federal rules intended to improve the safety of oil-by-train transportation, opening the first legal fight in a two-year effort to reduce the risks of moving hazardous materials on railroads.

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Railroads and Oil Companies Deliver Contributions to Subcommittees Overseeing Crude By Rail Legislation

MapLight (via The Benicia Independent) | May 12, 2015 | Report by Daniel Stevens

On May 1, the Department of Transportation issued new regulations requiring railroad cars that transport crude oil to meet a new safety standard. The rules will require rail companies to, among other things, stop using the most at risk rail cars by 2018. Safety groups and members of Congress have been calling on the Department to issue new rules for years. Several members of Congress have said that the new regulations are still not strong enough. Meanwhile, railroads and oil companies have said the new rules will hamper their industries. The two industries have contributed heavily to the congressional subcommittees that oversee the regulation of railroads and that are responsible for legislation relating to the safety of crude oil trains.

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Oil industry sues government over train safety rules

McClatchyDC | May 12, 2015 | Column by Curtis Tate

The oil industry went to court Monday over the Obama administration’s new oil train safety rules, challenging the timeline for refitting tens of thousands of tank cars and the requirement for enhanced braking systems on the cars.

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Lowey Wants Bakken Crude Rail Ban

The Albany Project | May 12, 2015 | Post by Tod Westlake

We’ve had lots of news in recent weeks about elected officials behaving badly, haven’t we? So, it’s refreshing to post something a bit more positive. To wit, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-17), is proposing an outright ban on Bakken crude being shipped by rail in the US:

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Rail Safety bill passes off Senate Floor with bipartisan support

California Senator Lois Wolk (via The Benicia Independent) | May 11, 2015 | Press Release

SACRAMENTO—Legislation by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) to protect communities along rail lines by requiring trains and light engines carrying freight within California to be operated with an adequate crew size for public safety reasons secured passage from the Senate last Thursday on a bipartisan 23-11 vote.

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New York must take steps to stop oil-train transit

Syracuse Post-Standard | May 11, 2015 | LTE by Frank Raymond Cetera

To the Editor:

Last Fiday, attending an Economic Expo at the Fairgrounds' Empire Room, I stopped in my tracks at the view of an ominous train whose cars stretched as far as the eye could see.The placards read "1267", indicating petroleum crude oil - a class 3 flammable liquid.This is the same type of explosive cargo as on the train that derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec in 2013, destroying half the downtown and killing 47 people. The same type of train that derailed and exploded earlier this year in Colorado, South Carolina, and just last week in North Dakota.

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Latest ‘bomb train’ incident predictable

The Hawkeye (via The Benicia Independent) | May 11, 2015 | Column by Kathleen Sloan

BNSF Railway carried the Hess Corp.-owned rail car, which carried highly volatile Bakken crude oil from North Dakota and appears to have followed the law.

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New rules on oil trains draw flak from firefighters, too

McClatchyDC (via The Benicia Independent) | May 11, 2015 | Column by Curtis Tate

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and environmental and industry groups criticized the federal government’s new safety measures for oil trains when they were announced earlier this month. Now another group has expressed disappointment in the new rules:

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Why continue to transport crude?

Times Union | May 11, 2015 | LTE by Sandy Steubing

As always, I appreciate the Times Union reporting on the volatile Bakken crude that comes into our city.

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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.