Crude Oil Spilled From Trains in 2013 Tops Total Since 1975, Analysis Shows

CULVER CITY, CA - APRIL 25: Oil rigs extract petroleum as the price of crude oil rises to nearly $120 per barrel, prompting oil companies to reopen numerous wells across the nation that were considered tapped out and unprofitable decades ago when oil sold for one-fifth the price or less, on April 25, 2008 in the Los Angeles area community of Culver City, California. Many of the old unprofitable wells, known as 'stripper wells', are located in urban areas where home owners are often outraged by the noise, smell, and possible environmental hazards associated with living so close to renewed oil drilling. Since homeowners usually do not own the mineral rights under their land, oil firms can drill at an angle to go under homes regardless of the desires of residents. Using expensive new technology and drilling techniques, California producers have reversed a long decline of about 5 percent annually with an increased crude flow of about 2 1/2 million barrels in 2007 for the first time in years. 
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Ben Geman
Jan. 22, 2014, 2:15 a.m.

Mc­Clatchy News­pa­pers has come out with a new ana­lys­is that will likely fuel calls for tough­er reg­u­la­tion of rail cars car­ry­ing crude oil.

The amount of oil spilled in rail in­cid­ents in 2013 was more than the total amount dumped in the pre­vi­ous four dec­ades since the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment star­ted col­lect­ing the data, Mc­Clatchy re­ports.

More than 1.15 mil­lion gal­lons spilled last year in de­rail­ments that in­cluded ma­jor ac­ci­dents in North Dakota and Alabama, the news ser­vice re­ports, cit­ing Trans­port­a­tion De­part­ment data.

“By com­par­is­on, from 1975 to 2012, U.S. rail­roads spilled a com­bined 800,000 gal­lons of crude oil. The spike un­der­scores new con­cerns about the safety of such ship­ments as rail has be­come the pre­ferred mode for oil pro­du­cers amid a North Amer­ic­an en­ergy boom,” the story states.


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