U.S., Canadian Officials Look To End Oil-by-Rail Disasters

Scorched oil tankers remain on July 10, 2013 at the train derailment site in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Edward Bukhardt, CEO of Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railways Inc.,(MMA) told reporters Wednesday that the train was left running while the engineer spent the night sleeping in a hotel in Nantes, adding that the engineer was following standard 'industry practice.' The train carrying crude oil from North Dakota derailed in the town of Lac-Megantic overnight Friday, causing a massive fire and explosions that killedat least 15 people, with another 45 still missing.
National Journal
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Ben Geman
Jan. 13, 2014, 2:25 a.m.

Of­fi­cials in the U.S. and Canada are hud­dling over how to im­prove the safety of ship­ping crude oil by rail, fol­low­ing re­cent de­rail­ments and ex­plo­sions on both sides of the bor­der.

Canada’s CBC news ser­vice re­ports on a planned meet­ing in Ot­t­awa on Monday that will bring to­geth­er Ca­na­dian reg­u­lat­ors, in­dustry lead­ers,  and rep­res­ent­at­ives from the U.S. Em­bassy.

In the U.S., the Trans­port­a­tion De­part­ment is un­der pres­sure from law­makers on both sides of the aisle to com­plete a reg­u­la­tion that toughens stand­ards for rail tank cars.

Boom­ing oil pro­duc­tion in North Dakota and else­where has led to a surge in use of rail­ways to move U.S. crude oil.

Sen. John Ho­even, R-N.D., spoke with Platts En­ergy Week TV about the top­ic in an in­ter­view that aired Sunday.