I keep hearing story after story about accidents involving the transportation of oil within the US. The stories all seem to have one common thread. Nothing is ever done about it. That has led me to this question: Does Big Oil Own the Rails? In at least one state, the answer is obvious.
Safety officials have worried for years about hazardous materials carried on trains, but concern has intensified recently as a drilling surge in remote oil fields has generated heavy traffic on North America’s aging rail-freight networks. That concern was heightened on Monday when a train of oil-tank cars near Casselton, N.D., plowed into a train carrying grain that had derailed on an adjacent track. The fire burned for more than a day.
That accident was outside the town. But last July, in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, a similar train of tank cars that had been left unattended rolled down a grade and derailed, killing 47 people and burning down much of the downtown.
Even before the accident in Quebec, the United States Transportation Department had warned that shippers were failing to follow basic precautions, like determining the temperature at which oil will turn into a gas and burn or explode, and selecting appropriate tank cars to transport the material… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <NY Times>
While this article is accurate as far as it goes, here’s what it doesn’t report, thanks to Rachel Maddow.
Obviously the answer to my original question is ‘YES’, as far as ND is concerned. You can be certain that the same will be true anywhere that Republicans control the government. Removing the Republican Party from power is an exercise in survival.