Recent News

The Irony of Ending the U.S. Oil Export Ban Is Imports May Rise

December 17, 2015 | Bloomberg News| The lifting of the U.S. ban on oil exports might actually make imports more appealing. By allowing American oil to compete globally, the price for U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude is inching closer to the international marker Brent, which has traded at a premium for most of the […]

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What Just Happened in Solar Is a Bigger Deal Than Oil Exports

What Just Happened in Solar Is a Bigger Deal Than Oil Exports

December 17, 2015 | Bloomberg News| The clean-energy boom is about to be transformed. In a surprise move, U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend tax credits for solar and wind for another five years. This will give an unprecedented boost to the industry and change the course of deployment in the U.S. The extension will add an extra 20 gigawatts of […]

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U.S. on verge of lifting oil export ban

December 16, 2015 | Bakken Breakout | WASHINGTON – A provision to lift the U.S. ban on oil exports is included in a government spending bill, giving North Dakota’s congressional delegation hope the 40-year-old ban could be lifted later this year. “We are two votes and a signature away from getting this done,” Sen. Heidi […]

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Tesoro’s New Oil Train Cars: Too Few and Still Too Dangerous

Tesoro’s New Oil Train Cars: Too Few and Still Too Dangerous

December 15, 2015 | Sightline Institute| One of the biggest players in oil by rail is trying to build more capacity in Washington State. Tesoro, an oil company with a checkered past, already receives loaded crude oil trains at its Anacortes refinery. Now the firm aims to build North America’s largest oil train unloading facility […]

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Firefighters battling large fire near Highway 30 in industrial NW Portland

Firefighters battling large fire near Highway 30 in industrial NW Portland

December 13, 2015 | Oregon Live | Firefighters work at the scene after a semitrailer truck crashed into railroad cars causing a fire near the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015. A semitrailer truck crashed on a roadway near a Portland railroad yard, sparking a railcar fire that sent up plumes […]

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Lowballed risks, errors discovered in Vancouver oil train terminal analysis

Lowballed risks, errors discovered in Vancouver oil train terminal analysis

December 11, 2015 | Oregon Live | Consultants evaluating a proposed Vancouver oil train terminal for a Washington state regulator vastly understate the worst-case scenario for a catastrophic oil spill, data from the United States and Canada show. Three of the four authors hired to write the analysis are former executives of BNSF Railway Co., […]

By December 13, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
End of Crude Oil Export Ban Is Possible

End of Crude Oil Export Ban Is Possible

December 10, 2015 | NY Times | WASHINGTON — For months, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, and Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, formed a quiet, persistent alliance as they sought to convince their colleagues that it was time to end a more than 40-year ban on crude oil exports. They turned the […]

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How Cheap Crude Stalled America’s Booming Oil Trains

How Cheap Crude Stalled America’s Booming Oil Trains

December 9, 2015 | Bloomberg News| This year has already been the costliest by far for crude train explosions. Derailments in 2015 have caused $29.7 million in damage, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, a huge increase from $7.5 million in 2014. Most of this year’s price tag can be attributed to two crashes within a three-week span. [Read […]

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Railroads beat back new safety rules after derailments

Railroads beat back new safety rules after derailments

December 5, 2015 | LaCrosse Tribune| A pair of train derailments in 2012 that killed two people in Maryland and triggered a fiery explosion in Ohio exposed a little-known and unsettling truth about railroads in the U.S. and Canada: No rules govern when rail becomes too worn down to be used for hauling hazardous chemicals, […]

By December 7, 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Train safety provisions included in U.S. transportation bill

Train safety provisions included in U.S. transportation bill

December 4, 2015 | Milwaukee Sentintel | The mammoth five-year federal transportation bill that lawmakers hope to send to President Barack Obama early next week includes provisions, championed by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), that would require railroads to share critical safety information with local communities. “This legislation provides the transparency we’ve been begging and asking […]

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