Not for Rachel Notley are Festivus, Yule and other neo-pagan solstice celebrations for the politically minded. No, the Alberta Premier clings to Christmas tradition, or more accurately the toy catalog of yore, with its yummy pages of pointlessly looping Lionel trains.
In a move that it says will increase demand and pricing for Alberta’s tar sands bitumen, the provincial government has affirmed that it will imminently sign orders for two unit-train’s worth of oil tank cars. The deal will be signed by year-end, Premier Rachel Notley declared Nov. 28. The carbuilder was not disclosed.
Even in this new world order, when profoundly held beliefs are cast aside according to the whims of political weather, the Oct. 24 call by the Canadian oil lobby for a government takeover of crude by rail (CBR) is a stunning abandonment of principle.
Industry watchers greeted the news of the recent BNSF derailment in Doon, Iowa, as typical ho-hum news. 32 tank railcars hauling crude derailed on a stretch of track that had been compromised by floodwaters. Several of the cars were ruptured and there was a crude spill. Emergency services (BNSF and others) were able to contain the size of the spill, and residents of the area were evacuated as a precaution. Luckily for all parties involved, there was no conflagration whatsoever as a result of the derailment.
The June 13, 2018 report from PFL Petroleum Services, a full-service railcar company covering the North American rail market (sales and leasing, loaded and empty storage, mobile railcar cleaning, blasting, scrapping and mobile repair) says that CBR (crude by rail) traffic is growing in the U.S. and Canada, albeit with some short-term headwinds.
TransCanada Corp’s recent decision to abandon its $12 billion plan to build the Energy East pipeline, combined with delays to other export pipeline projects, may create a resurgence in crude by rail (CBR) from Canada, according to a report from Reuters.
The Association of American Railroads says the Department of Transportation should withdraw its rule on electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes for crude oil trains after a review released Oct. 12 by the United States Government Accountability Office.
Responding to the Washington Council of Fire Fighters and other first responders, Washington State adopted a new rule, Chapter 173-185 WAC, Oil Movement by Rail and Pipeline Notification, “to enhance oil spill preparedness and response.”
What does it mean to call a fire hostile? For an insurance policyholder seeking coverage for a large loss involving a fire or explosion and a release of something an insurer might call a pollutant like oil, gas, or a hazardous chemical product, such as following a CBR (crude by rail) accident and fire, this can be an important question.