Thursday, March 27, 2014

Banning crude by rail in North America

When a train loaded with crude oil from North Dakota rolled away from its night-time berth near the town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, no one would have predicted the scope of its devastation.
The July 2013 derailment and explosion left 47 people dead, a town decimated and the fires took days to extinguish. Rail cars were piled up like charred sausages from the grill scraped off a plate into the rubbish bin; the burnt remains of a BBQ gone wrong.  
Regulators and the oil industry were astonished -- crude oil was not supposed to explode. But Lac-Megantic was only one example of American crude oil from North Dakota doing just that.