Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trains carrying explosive ND crude oil roll through Wisconsin

WISN-TV Channel 12 reports what activists have been calling attention to for months:

Potentially-deadly oil tanker trains with few modernized tanker cars regularly roll past homes from Pewaukee through Wauwatosa at 68th and State Streets to Mount Pleasant, but unless the trains are carrying more than a million gallons of the relatively news, and relatively-more volatile fuel, state and fire agency officials don't get advance notice these rolling bombs are coming through.

Other cities in the US and Canada have suffered devastating, explosive ND oil train derailments.

Ten months ago, I addressed the issue this way:
How confident are state and local public safety officials that Wisconsin communities will not be torched in oil train derailments or contaminated by pipeline spills?
Lamentably, the point person in Wisconsin on rail safety is not a safety expert. 
He is former Milwaukee-area State Sen. Jeff Plale, who, after a primary defeat, was rewarded by Gov. Scott Walker for opposing climate change legislation and public employee contracts with a gubernatorial appointment as Wisconsin Railroad Commissioner.
His take on shipping Bakken crude through Wisconsin:
 ...Plale says it's no fiction that oil train traffic from the Dakotas, to and through Wisconsin, has increased by quite a bit. “The Canadian Pacific refers to that as their rolling pipeline – also, Burlington Northern through the western part of the state,” says Plale. “And it’s going through refineries down south and out east.” 
Plale says he’s been talking with the train companies about safety, especially in light of an uptick in freight rail incidents in Wisconsin last year and other oil train accidents in the United States and Canada. He urges Wisconsin citizens to contact him about any poor track conditions.
Here's a suggestion: Instead of a pothole hotline approach, and given the recent oil train derailments, and the awareness that Bakken Shale crude is easily explosive, let's have Plale, other officials and actual experts bring the public into a transparent, take-charge process that writes and implements an updated, more assertive oil shipping safety plan for Wisconsin.
Can Wisconsin prevent this?
Scott Walker, Train Wreck. Click The Photo


Anonymous said...

a nice new pipeline would work really well here

Anonymous said...

I hope Anonymous (above) was being facetious; if not, Anonymous has drunk the poisonous Republican Kool-Aid. A new pipeline would devastate the already fragile ecosystem here, just as it has everywhere else. It's long past time for our money and energy to be invested renewable energy.