BOOM: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem (Weather Channel video)

Repost from Weather Films
[Editor: Perhaps the best short video presentation I’ve seen on the dangers of crude by rail.  Excellent for groups and public forums.  Caution: graphic scenes of anguish and destruction.  See also the lengthier original text-based report, notable for its expose on bridge safety.  – RS]

Boom: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem

Weather Films, 12/7/14

On July 6, 2013, a train hauling two million gallons of crude oil exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. It took two days to put out the fire and devastated the small community.

That catastrophe had its origin in America. For five years, a boom in oil production has been taking place in the Bakkan Shale region of North Dakota. Oil from the Bakkan is transported across the U.S. and Canada by rail to refineries on the coasts – it was one of these trains that derailed in Lac-Megantic.

The sharp increase in domestic oil production has created jobs, decreased economic vulnerability to turmoil in the Middle East, and lowered prices of gasoline and home heating oil.

But there’s another side to this story.

In “Boom,” a joint investigation by The Weather Channel and InsideClimate News, we explore how the boom in oil has resulted in highly volatile crude oil being sent over aging, often defective rails in vulnerable railcars.

Rail accidents involving oil trains have been on the rise. But industry and regulators have been slow react. Will it take another Lac-Megantic to make America’s towns and cities safer?

Read the full report here:

“Boom” was produced by Weather Films, the award-winning documentary unit of
Produced by Greg Gilderman
Edited by Brandon Kieffer
Associate Producer: Katie Wiggin
Consulting Producer: Joe Halderman
Director of Photography: Jason Rudge
Executive Producers: Neil Katz, Greg Gilderman, Shawn Efran
Additional Reporting by Andy Blatchford
Additional Editing by Jason Rudge
Special Thanks: Karine Blanchette, Yannick Gagne, Bernard Boulet, Adrien Aubert, Rachel Rawson, Trip Jennings, Samuel Ezerzeer