Keystone pipeline would curtail oil derailments

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Flames shot in the air and black smoke billowed from the James River in downtown Lynchburg, Va., last week when a CSX train carrying crude oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota derailed, sending three rail cars into the river where they caught fire.

The Associated Press reported that the past year has seen eight similar incidents in the United States and Canada, as railroads haul the oil produced by the hydraulic fracturing of the Bakken field — 1 billion barrels so far and counting.

“This is another national wake-up call,” Jim Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board told the Associated Press. “We have these oil trains moving all across the United States through communities and the growth and distribution of this has all occurred, unfortunately, while the federal regulators have been asleep.”

Hall made a good point about the need to improve federal regulations.

The first regulatory change should be approval of construction of the final stage of the Keystone Pipeline that would allow companies to transport Bakken oil safely from the wells to the refineries without the risks that rail transportation poses…

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