Jan 042014
 

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.

0104RAILSafety 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.

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  12 Responses to “Does Big Oil Own the Rails?”

  1. After all these events that Rachel reported, the BP Gulf disaster and everything else that slips by us under-reported by MSM, can someone tell me why people are still pushing for the XL pipeline to be constructed? Anyone?

    The time has passed to find alternative, safe energy sources. Develop solar, wind and geothermalnow, you A$$holes!

  2. Public safety is not rated above the transportation needs of anything from hazardous chemicals to dangerously toxic or explosive elements. Not to worry, the head of transportation in North Dakota said that oil cannot be considered combustible. I was thrilled to learn that, the darn news had me believing a mile of rail cars exploded one after the other, all carrying oil.

    What can do about this? Well, folks that goes back to the Santa Clara – v- Southern Pacific SCOTUS decision (1865), not resolved then but strangely resolved by the current court, know to all of us as Citizens United; which gives person-hood to corporations and that includes the railroads. (also carefully read the 14th amendment)

    The court reporter, former president of the Newburgh and New York Railway Company J.C. Bancroft Davis, wrote the following as part of the headnote for the case:

    "One of the points made and discussed at length in the brief of counsel for defendants in error was that 'corporations are persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.' Before argument, Mr. Chief Justice Waite said: The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does."[4]

    In other words, the headnote claimed that all of the justices believed that corporations enjoyed rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in 1868. In fact, the headnote was only a reporting by the Court Reporter of the Chief Justice's personal interpretation of the Justices' opinions. The issue of applicability of "Equal Protection to any persons" to the railroads was not addressed in the decision of the Court in the case.

    From Wiki but there are many sources out there -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Pacific_Railroad

    • Thanks Kitty.  Excellent info.  The opinion of a clerk is sufficient precedent for the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS.

  3. I can only assume that people are still pushing for Keystone XL because it won't be in their back yard.  People.

    BTW, there is a petition on Change dot org by a group called "Coloradans for Responsible Fracking."  It keeps popping up for me if I sign another petition there.  If it ever pops up for you, please, please, PLEASE DON'T sign it.  Thank you.

  4. I think this is true all over our country.  Corporations make the decisions and the government approves them.  Coal companies have been given permission to dump their "spill" in our waterways here in Kentucky again, after all the proof that shows the contaminates in that spill endanger human health.  Apparently, it is not part of the EPA"s domain to protect human health.

  5. "Not to worry, the head of transportation in North Dakota said that oil cannot be considered combustible."

    Proving yet again that the right will do anything, say anything, for personal profit and gain.

  6. "The energy crisis is a lie, here is the evidence"… The Truth Behind The Energy Lie(What The Energy Cartels Don't  – http://youtu.be/0K2wm8tn088