NPR Interview: Another Train Derailment Raises New Concerns About The Safety Of Transporting Crude Oil

Repost from WAMU, American University Radio – The Diane Rehm Show
[Editor: In this lengthy and informative audio, Diane Rehm interviews Anthony Swift, NRDC; Cynthia Quarterman, Atlantic Council (former Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration); Dina Cappiello, Associated Press; and Edward Hamburger, Association of American Railroads. Unfortunately, I am unable to embed The Diane Rehm Show here.  To listen to this 51-minute interview, go to the Diane Rehm Show.  – RS]

Another Train Derailment Raises New Concerns About The Safety Of Transporting Crude Oil

The Diane Rehm Show, Mon, Mar 09, 2015
Firefighters and rescue workers work along the tracks where several CSX tanker cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in April 2014 along the James River near downtown in Lynchburg, Va.
Firefighters and rescue workers work along the tracks where several CSX tanker cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in April 2014 along the James River near downtown in Lynchburg, Va. AP Photo/Steve Helber

Fueled by the shale oil boom in North Dakota and Montana, trains now carry more than 500,000 carloads of oil and ethanol to coastal refineries. Now, a series of fiery train derailments in the U.S. and Canada is raising public safety concerns. On Saturday, a train crashed in Ontario, leaking oil into a nearby waterway. Here in the U.S., another train derailed last week in Illinois, causing evacuations and fire damage. Safety advocates say rail cars carrying oil need to meet tougher design standards and lower speed limits. Shippers argue that stricter measures are costly and risks are exaggerated. We look at the rise in oil train derailments and what can be done to prevent them.

Guests

  • Anthony Swift attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
  • Cynthia Quarterman distinguished senior fellow, The Atlantic Council; former administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
  • Ed Hamberger president and CEO, Association of American Railroads.
  • Dina Cappiello national environment and energy reporter, The Associated Press.
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