"At the vast BNSF rail yard in Kansas City, Kan., dozens of trains stretch into the distance. You can feel them rumble. You can hear the roar of 4,400-horsepower diesel locomotives. And you can smell their exhaust."
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
"A series of tornadoes, including a major twister, touched down southwest of Oklahoma City on Wednesday, injuring several residents of a trailer park, causing severe flooding and the escape of bears from a wildlife park, officials said."
Since U.S. oil production started booming, the news has been full of tanker trains blowing up. Under a May 2014 emergency order, the Federal Railway Administration increased requirements that railroads disclose oil train routes. But a new regulation issued May 1, 2015, leaves the public — and firefighters — with less information about the risks they face. Photo: The latest oil train derailment and explosion, today, in ND/Curt Bemson via AP.
"James Osborn has just one question: 'Would you drink it?' 'It' being a mysterious brown sludge -- allegedly fracking fluid -- that Osborn brought in a foam cup to a public hearing in Sidney, Nebraska, in front of the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Tuesday."
"Wastewater is arguably worse for the environment than oil, killing vegetation and leaving farmland sterile for generations. Some say the state isn't doing enough to get its spill problem controlled."
"A pipeline that ruptured recently in North Dakota and spilled nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater produced during oil drilling wasn't inspected by the state before being installed, according to state regulators."
"The U.S. Forest Service adopted a rule on Wednesday that requires managers of the nation’s nearly 200 forests and grasslands to formally designate where snowmobiles can be operated on the 193 million acres of public land the agency oversees."
"Yellowstone National Park has shipped at least 200 bison near the park boundary with Montana to slaughter as the famed tourist destination seeks to reduce a herd by 900 animals this winter, a U.S. conservation group said on Friday."
Near Bradshaw, Nebraska, the four Harrington sisters fight the Keystone XL pipeline, which they fear could threaten land their family has farmed for 150 years. Their unpainted, solar-powered barn, plastered with slogans, sits smack in the path of the pipeline.