All minuses, no pluses in crude oil train shipments

Oil Train Halted by Tripod Blockade Action- Rising Tide Seattle

No one really gives a shit about ordinary people’s concerns anymore:

(Reuters) – For the past 18 months, Americans from Albany to Oregon have voiced growing alarm over the rising number of oil-laden freight trains coursing through their cities, a trend they fear is endangering public safety.

In at least a handful of places, the public is also helping fund it.

States and the federal government have handed out tens of millions in public dollars to rail companies and government agencies to expand crude oil rail transportation across the country, a Reuters analysis has found.

The public assistance in states like New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma and Oregon comes as railroads are posting record profits, and as state and federal authorities press for safety overhauls that the oil and rail industries have opposed, following several explosive derailments.

The Reuters analysis identified 10 federal and state grants either approved or pending approval, totaling $84.2 million, that helped boost the number of rail cars carrying crude oil across the nation.

The funds are a fraction of total public funding for railroads each year, and look small compared to the $24 billion railroads themselves are spending annually on infrastructure.

But with oil-train safety under heavy scrutiny, the public grants could be controversial and add to growing strains between the industry and some local communities who say they are ill-prepared to deal with oil spills or derailments.

“Look at the towns. All they’re getting are more trains in their backyard and all the risk with no financial benefits,” said Dan McCoy, the County Executive in Albany, New York, where taxpayer funds have contributed to growing oil-train shipments.

3 thoughts on “All minuses, no pluses in crude oil train shipments

  1. The hundred year old farmstead I live on here on the Oregon High Desert is one long block from the tracks where a couple hundred of these Pintos on rails run through town. The saving grace, I suppose, is twixt us is the Parkway recently built. Doubt, though, that it’ll do me, my ex-father-in-law, my son and my grandson much good when the debris rains down.

  2. This is one of those issues where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The fact is that oil is going to be moved from one place to another. Either by train or by pipeline. Hence the demand that the Keystone XL pipeline be built as a safety measure so that we’ll no longer need trains or trucks to carry it. The only solution to this interesting dilemma is to stop burning oil (and coal) in cars, homes, factories and electrical power generating plants altogether. If that were accomplished then the problem of climate change would be solved. Wind, solar and water are the substitutes. Germany has committed itself to getting rid of all nuclear power plants within the next 10 years. It’s too bad that Republican president Obama has so badly confused the public on these issues.

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