It wasn't terrorists, but operator error that caused a train full of oil to derail and explode in the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic in 2013, killing 47 people. 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, for perhaps the first time, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) dismissed that claim, saying that oil train routing was not sensitive security information.
The railroads are fighting back, mounting a campaign to get the states to black out the information the feds say must be disclosed. The FRA emergency order of May 9, 2014, requires the railroads to disclose routing of oil trains to the "State Emergency Response Commissions," which are required by federal law to disclose it to the public and news media.
- "Rail Companies Ordered To Reveal Details of Oil Shipments," Daily Finance, June 20, 2014 by Oilprice.com.
- "Railroads Wrangle with States To Keep Oil Shipments Secret," Bloomberg Businessweek, June 10, 2014, by Matthew Philips.
- "Feds: Oil Train Details Not Security Sensitive," Associated Press, June 18, 2014, by Matthew Brown.
- "Hazardous Chemical Lists No Longer Public Record in Texas," WFAA ABC Dallas, June 12, 2014, by Brett Shipp.
- "California Warns of Oil-By-Rail While Keeping Data Secret," Bloomberg News, June 12, 2014, by Lynn Doan.
- "Details About Crude Oil Rail Shipments Shrouded in Secrecy," Sacramento Bee, June 15, 2014, by Tony Bizjak and Curtis Tate.
- "Federal Rail Chief Outlines Oil Train Safety Strategy," Northwest Indiana Times, June 6, 2014, by Keith Benman.
- "Despite Rise in Spills, Hazardous Cargo Rides Rails in Secret," New York Times, April 15, 2014, by Jad Mouawad.
- Previous Story: WatchDog of May 28, 2014.
- Federal Railroad Administration Emergency Order, Crude Oil by Train (DOT-OST-2014-0067), May 7, 2014.