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Rail vs. Pipeline Is the Wrong Question

David Suzuki, Ian Hanington, Huffington Post, Jan 22 2014

Debating the best way to do something we shouldn't be doing in the first place is a sure way to end up in the wrong place. That's what's happening with the "rail versus pipeline" discussion. Some say recent rail accidents mean we should build more pipelines to transport fossil fuels. Others argue that leaks, high construction costs, opposition and red tape surrounding pipelines are arguments in favour of using trains.

More oil spilled from trains in 2013 than in previous 4 decades, federal data show

Curtis Tate, Bellingham Herald, McClatchy Washington Bureau, January 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — More crude oil was spilled in U.S. rail incidents last year than was spilled in the nearly four decades since the federal government began collecting data on such spills, an analysis of the data shows.

New Brunswick: Latest derailment and fire fans safety concerns posed by oil-by-rail boom

Jim Bronskill, Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press, The Star, Jan 08 2014

What is being called a controlled burn had been raging for more than 18 hours in northwestern New Brunswick late Wednesday after 17 cars on a CN train — some carrying propane, others crude oil — derailed and caught fire.

Wall Street Giant Backs Away From Washington Coal Export Project

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jan 7 2014

A multinational banking giant is backing away from a proposal to build the West Coast’s biggest coal export project near Bellingham, Washington.

Washington coal export project dumped by Goldman Sachs

John Upton, Grist, Jan 8 2013

Goldman Sachs is looking a tad less evil. It has dumped its holdings in a shaky project that would build the Gateway Pacific Terminal near Bellingham, Wash., intended to be the West Coast’s biggest coal export terminal.

Casselton, N.D. residents flee town after oil train explosion

David Shaffer & Susan Hogan, Star Tribune, Dec 31, 2013

A majority of the 2,300 residents of Casselton, N.D., heeded a warning to leave town Monday after an explosion that produced huge clouds of flames and smoke, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Is Bakken oil safe enough for the GTA?

Jessica McDiarmid, The Star, Dec 14 2013

The fires burned for four days after the explosions.

A train carrying 72 cars of crude oil had barreled into the sleepy Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic and derailed. And the oil did what crude oil isn’t supposed to do: it blew up, killing 47 people, leaving the downtown core in ruin.

Regulator: ND oil rail shipments expected to spike

James Macpherson, Associated Press December 12, 2013

Regulator: North Dakota oil rail shipments expected to spike to 90 percent of production

Tar Sands Oil Boom Drives Push for A Northern Pipeline

Ed Struzik, Yale Environment 360, 29 Nov 2013

The rapid development of Alberta’s tar sands has spawned a new proposal for a 731-mile pipeline that would transport oil to the British Columbia coast. The project is strongly opposed by conservationists and First Nations leaders, who fear the environmental risks it would bring.

Inside the oil-shipping free-for-all that brought disaster to Lac-Mégantic

Grant Robertson & Jacquie McNish, Globe and Mail, Dec 2 2013

An investigation into the disaster and its causes.

The deadly secret behind the Lac-Mégantic inferno

Jacquie McNish & Grant Robertson, Globe and Mail, Dec 3 2013

The deadly secret behind the Lac-Mégantic inferno

An investigation into the disaster and its causes.

‘Fireball’ streaks across Yellowhead after train derailment, explosion west of Edmonton

Edmonton Journal, The Canadian Press, October 19, 2013

GAINFORD, Alta. - Emergency crews are monitoring a massive fire burning after a tanker train carrying oil and gas derailed west of Edmonton overnight.

‘Pipeline or rail, the oil will flow’, say Alberta oil industry and Canada’s government

Roger Annis, Vancouver Observer, 30 Sep 2013

Following a visit by federal ministers to British Columbia last week to win over oil pipeline opponents, VO takes a look at what happened and what's to come. The pressure to expand oil-by-rail is relentless. Meanwhile, the oil train derailments are accumulating. And a recent editorial by Postmedia suggested that proposals to ship oil by truck on Canada's highways will be next.

CN Rail floats idea of shipping Alberta bitumen to Prince Rupert: documents

Bruce Cheadle, Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, Sep. 22, 2013

CN Rail, at the urging of Chinese-owned Nexen Inc., is considering shipping Alberta bitumen to Prince Rupert, B.C., by rail in quantities matching the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, documents show.

Quebec town rocked by explosions, fire after derailment

CBC News, July 6 2013

Train derailment in Lac-Mégantic forces 1,000 from homes as several reported missing

Lac-Megantic, Quebec: Train carrying crude oil derails, explodes

Canadian Press, Montreal Gazette, July 6 2013

MONTREAL - By mid-morning Saturday, 10 hours after a train derailment set off a series of explosions, firefighters still could not get near the centre of the fire raging in the downtown area of historic Lac Mégantic, authorities told media.

The Northwest's Pipeline on Rails

Eric de Place, Sightline Institute, June 24 2013

Since 2012, nearly a dozen plans have emerged to ship crude oil by train to Northwest refineries and port terminals. Moving large quantities of oil by rail would be a major change for the Northwest’s energy economy, but so far the proposals have largely escaped notice.

Canada railways split on crude as Keystone ruling looms

Andrew Mayeda, Bloomberg News, Delaware News Journal, June 24 2013

OTTAWA, CANADA — Canadian National Railway sees “tremendous” growth in shipping oil by train. Hunter Harrison, who runs its biggest rival, says he isn’t so sure as he looks at potential pipeline competition.

BNSF Railways, Coal Shippers Sued in Federal Court for Water Contamination Violations

Press Release, Sierra Club, June 5 2013

SEATTLE-- Today, the Sierra Club and its partners filed suit against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) and several coal companies for violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The Sierra Club, Puget Soundkeeper, Columbia Riverkeeper, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, and Friends of the Columbia Gorge sent a 60 day notice in April after collecting evidence demonstrating the companies’ responsibility for emitting coal into waterways in several locations across Washington. Spokane Riverkeeper and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently sent a notice letter for these violations as well.

More than 91,000 litres of oil spilled from derailed Saskatchewan train

Canadian Press, Star Phoenix, May 22 2013

A freight train jumped the tracks in southeastern Saskatchewan Tuesday and spilled more than 91,000 litres of oil.

Oil trains -- pipelines on wheels -- headed to Northwest terminals and refineries from North Dakota fracking

Scott Learn,, May 13 2013

The boom in North Dakota's Bakken oil field is speeding to the Northwest, a boon for ports and refineries that could bring in upwards of 200 million barrels of crude each year on mile-plus oil trains.

Enbridge, Tundra to build Manitoba rail oil terminal

Scott Haggett, Reuters, April 16 2013

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Tundra Energy Marketing Ltd said on Tuesday it and Enbridge Inc, Canada's No.1 pipeline company, will build a rail terminal near Cromer, Manitoba, capable of handling up to 60,000 barrels per day of oil.

Trains carrying more oil across the US as pipeline projects stall; experts fear major spill

Matthew Brown & Josh Funk, Associated Press, Dec 28, 2012           

Trains carrying more oil across US amid boom

Energy companies behind the oil boom on the Northern Plains are increasingly turning to an industrial-age workhorse _ the locomotive _ to move their crude to refineries across the U.S., as plans for new pipelines stall and existing lines can't keep up with demand.

Rail's new oil rush

Dave Cooper, Edmonton Journal, November 10, 2012
With Files From Reuters And Bloomberg

In a market that is short on pipeline space and heavy crude sells at a big discount, one oilsands producer has found a way around the bottleneck.

Alberta-Alaska railway: Will it be built?

Alaska Dispatch, 21 Nov 2012

Will a railway intended to carry oil products from Alberta to Alaska be built in the next decade? The Canadian company G Seven Generations (G7G) is banking on it, but first it needs investors to fund the project.

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