Disasters

Will Safety Trump Secrecy in Oil-by-Rail?

Should firefighters and residents know whether trains loaded with explosive oil are routed through the heart of residential districts? Many railroads say no, claiming it is a security issue. But on June 18, 2014, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) dismissed that claim, saying that oil train routing was not sensitive security information. Yet the railroads are fighting back.

Feds Failing To Inspect Over 1,000 High-Risk Oil And Gas Wells

"Johnson County, Wyo., is the kind of remote, quiet Western community where life revolves around cattle—it was the site of an infamous 19th-century armed battle between cowboys and suspected cattle rustlers. The county ranks only 11th statewide for oil production, but it holds the number-one ranking nationwide for a more ignominious distinction: It has 249 new, high-risk oil and gas wells that the federal government has failed to inspect for compliance with safety and environmental standards."

Source: Climate Desk, 06/24/2014

"Oil From BP Spill Slowing One of Ocean's Fastest Fish: Scientists"

"'The worry is that if you have reduced swimming performance you're going to be less effective at capturing prey, and less effective in avoiding (predators),' said Martin Grosell, a professor at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science."

Source: Reuters, 06/24/2014

"Reports Suggest Pipes Not Tested at Duke Energy's Dan River Plant"

"There’s no evidence in reports subpoenaed by a federal grand jury that Duke Energy ever performed a simple test engineers recommended, one that might have prevented the spill this winter at the utility’s power plant near Eden."

Source: Greensboro News & Record, 06/23/2014

Battling Over the Brazos: Dwindling River, Reservoirs Spark Disputes

"In 1957, author John Graves decided to take a canoe trip down the upper Brazos River before a series of dams would turn his favorite stretch of river into a string of lakes. Graves feared that his beloved river would be squeezed dry if five proposed flood-control dams were built in the upper Brazos."

Source: Denton Record-Chronicle, 06/23/2014

"Records: Duke Warned About Pipe That Caused Spill"

"RALEIGH, N.C. — Records subpoenaed by federal prosecutors show engineers working for Duke Energy warned the company nearly 30 years before a massive coal ash spill that a stormwater pipe running under an ash dump was made of corrugated metal and needed to be monitored for leaks."

Source: AP, 06/20/2014

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