Saturday, April 26, 2014

News About the "Bomb Trains"

Ned Sullivan of Scenic Hudson spread the word yesterday that, as reported in the New York Times, the U.S. Department of Transportation will announce new standards for tank cars carrying crude next week. 

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx stated that the DOT-111 tank cars currently being used to transport the highly volatile Bakken crude oil from the shale fields of North Dakota need to be retrofitted with better protections or replaced. On the long journey from the shale fields to the refineries, the long trains carrying Bakken crude travel down the west side of the Hudson River.

Photos by Chad Gomes and John Lipscomb from the Riverkeeper website


  1. Well, it's a start.

    Here's a map showing the extent of Bakken fields in the US and Canada:

  2. This is the same Bakken crude oil that's otherwise meant to be transported through the Keystone XP pipeline. Instead, it's coming here.

  3. In the 1970's I recall driving to a gas station in Hudson, Moon's, it was located between today's Vasilow's & TJ Auto, to join the line of vehicles waiting for the rationing of gasoline. You were allowed to get gas based on the last number of your license plate, odd or even date to match your plate, plus only if your tank gage indicated filled halfway or below.
    So what have we all learned about our dependence on petroleum & products made from same?
    Unfortunately not much.
    We are oil junkies. And how dare we complain about how it is delivered. We want & need our fix to heat our homes, some have more than one home, & drive our cars & use all those by products including plastic bags.
    Is there anyone that believes the millions of people south of Hudson or anywhere else (include all of us reading this) are going to lessen their oil habit?
    Think it's bad now? Wait to all the Chinese have cars.
    Oh, who cares about the Chinese. We send all our dirty manufacturing plants over to them anyway. Ooops, wait a minute they live on Earth too, don't they?
    Well at least the pollutions NIMBY.

  4. Keystone XP is meant mainly for tar sands oil from Alberta Canada. Bakken Crude will only have 100,000 barrels a day through Keystone - a small percentage of what Keystone can transport, and about 10% of the daily production of Bakken crude. So with Keystone or without, most of the Bakken crude will be shipped by rail mainly to Albany and then down along the Hudson, or along the Columbia River between Oregon & Washington.

    1. By conveniently leaving out the balancing of relative alternatives, you've landed on an eithor/or explanation that needn't have existed to transport these materials, and which can still be reversed.

      One of the things holding up Keystone are challenges to its environmental impact statements. More than most, Hudson residents know that these EISs are about finding a balance of alternatives.

      My comment above insists that we who are opposed to transporting Bakken crude on the Hudson take an overall view and an overall strategy. For those who are merely opposed to everything (not saying you), it must feel very gratifying to consider these problems piecemeal, but without aiming for a balance of interests and realities overall - which is exactly what an EIS is supposed to do - then in the end you will get everything that's bad.

      What's even more embarrassing, you and I will continue to use these same products we're now so opposed to, whether directly or indirectly.

      For Hudson River environmentalists and conservationists, things needn't have reached the state of an either/or, although it's a circumstance that can still be reversed by reevaluating and renegotiating some of the better alternatives in Keystone's environmental impact statement (EIS).

  5. Lac-Megantic lost 47 residents. It is only a few miles from the Canada-USA border. It was a volatile explosion of a 'runaway' train. This article doesn't mention the destruction to the town or its' people.