Train Derailments Spur Look at Oil

Oct. 16, 2014
The derailment of several oil trains and subsequent fiery explosions have some calling on oil companies to make their oil less flammable.

Oil companies are feeling pressure to make their oil less flammable after the derailment and explosion of several oil trains leaving North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields. The Bakken oil fields make North Dakota the second largest oil producer after Texas, but fewer pipelines mean trains are required to transport oil out of the state, often on tracks that run right by homes and through downtowns, according to an article from NPR.

Activists are asking North Dakota to mandate that oil companies make their oil less explosive by separating out the flammable liquids, according to the article. The oil companies respond that the current conditioning of crude oil is safe enough for transport and that separating the explosive liquids from the oil raises new issues over what to do with the liquids afterward. Federal officials in Washington have also proposed strengthening the tank cars to make the trains safer.

Read the entire article here.

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