Oil train collides, explodes in ND
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1384) 8 years ago
http://news.yahoo.com/tra...ector.html

Reportedly, no one has gotten hurt so far.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15202) 8 years ago
From Bakken Oilfield, Fail of the Day Facebook page:



[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (12/30/2013)]
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Posted by cjg (+78) 8 years ago
they say if you hold your thumb up out in front of you at an arms length, and can still see the train cars, you are too close!
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3269) 8 years ago
I just read an article in the Gazette this morning about the fear of this happening as little towns could be affected. The article was taken from one in the Bismarck Trib. yesterday...and, ironic that the very dreaded thing happened today.
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2107) 8 years ago
I just saw on the news a few minutes ago that the small city of Casselton and the surrounding area is being evacuated because the fumes are so bad.
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Posted by 2ndComing (+203) 8 years ago
Fumes may become bad due to weather changes. It sure is a good thing most trains pass each other outside of towns.
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banned
Posted by NDJ (+140) 8 years ago
I think you meant meet each other not pass each other but you are entirely right.Sometimes on a train when you meet another train it is almost like you can reach out and touch the other train it seems.The one good thing is that they cannot put much blame for this accident on the oil train.The Bakken crude looks like oil that you pour out of a container in to your car,it is that clean.It presently is the highest grade of crude.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17814) 8 years ago
You know, if we would just build pipelines like the Keystone Xl, we wouldn't have to do silly things like transport crude oil via trains.

Just sayin'.
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banned
Posted by NDJ (+140) 8 years ago
The Keystone XL would change a whole lot of things that some in washington might not like changed.With the pipeline maybe the Bakken area would not like washington much anymore and they would control a whole bunch of oil and money.A bunch more than it does now.As much as washington is trying to slow them down they are still getting oil out of the area and sold.There is another formation just under the bakken that has even more oil than the bakken formation.Think of what this could change.Maybe they will want to move the capital to ND.Or secede.There is a lot of power in controlling as much oil as there is in the middle east,and the federal government will want to take it.
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Posted by Oddjob (+190) 8 years ago
Gee.

I wonder if the XL pipeline being off the table has anything to do with the fact that Obama's pal, Warren Buffett owns the BNSF?

Nah. There couldn't be any patronage or collusion in the most ethically ethical, environmentally environmental administration that ever came down the pike.

After all, they told us so.........
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17814) 8 years ago
Wow....a guy I work with reads the same conspiracy blog sites that Oddjob does. Imagine that.
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Posted by Oddjob (+190) 8 years ago
Conspiracy blogs?

Is that what they are calling the business section of newspapers these days?
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banned
Posted by NDJ (+140) 8 years ago
All I know is I have worked and drilled in to the Bakken 10+ years before anyone even heard of the Bakken.It may be nearly impossible to fathom the amount of money that is involved and potentially involved.Money does funny things to people and people do funny things for money,and I am talking about $5.
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1913) 8 years ago
The Keystone XL is for bringing tar sands from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas for export to China, not for moving oil from the Bakken anywhere.
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+53) 8 years ago
Was this a collision with an automobile? I do not see another train in the picture posted. I read about this yesterday in the Sacramento Bee, but it was a 1 column by 5" story without much detail.
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Posted by David Schott (+17671) 8 years ago
"The 106-car BNSF Railway Co oil train struck a derailed grain train on Monday afternoon about a mile west of Casselton, a town of 2,300 people."

http://www.reuters.com/ar...OV20131231
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3269) 8 years ago
This article will add to the conversation..

http://www.theglobeandmai...e16157981/
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Posted by Oddjob (+190) 8 years ago
Amorette pronounces:

"The Keystone XL is for bringing tar sands from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas for export to China, not for moving oil from the Bakken anywhere."

Pardon me.

I didn't realize the oil companies consulted you on their business plans. But then I guess they would have to, since you are the world's renown expert on everything.
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Posted by Jimmy (+123) 8 years ago
http://transcanada.com/bakken.html

http://transcanada.com/cushing.html

http://www.transcanada.com/655.html

It is amazing to me how so many people are uneducated about the XL project and TransCanada's commitment to the safety and well being of the environment, and the commitment of North American energy independence.

I might know a little about it... :-)
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1913) 8 years ago
All I did was state the truth. Sorry if that offends you.
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Posted by Jimmy (+123) 8 years ago
No offense taken ..... However, up until 6 months ago I was part of Keystone for 7 years. I know the truth. Take the time and really be educated. That' all i am saying. :-)
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15202) 8 years ago
It is amazing to me how so many people are uneducated about the XL project and TransCanada's commitment to the safety and well being of the environment, and the commitment of North American energy independence.

I might know a little about it... :-)


So what are TransCanada's contingency plans should the line break and contaminate the Oglala Aquifer or the Missouri River?

Why don't you educate us, Jimmy?
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17814) 8 years ago
My name is not Jimmy and I don't play him on TV. But, I will educate you, Richard.

http://keystone-xl.com/wp...itions.pdf

As a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, I find those special conditions (more like mitigative measures from the EIS) to be pretty robust.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15202) 8 years ago
You fish with dynamite, don't you, Gunnar.
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Posted by Oddjob (+190) 8 years ago
Richard

Perhaps you can educate us? Can you name ANY human endeavor that does not carry an element of risk?

Energy production benefits hundreds of millions of people and the past 180(?) years of history prove the risks to be manageable. That's why societies pursue this activity---for the benefit of all.

Had society been developed using the Luddite mentality of controlling all human endeavors based on "what if" scenarios, if we were here at all, we would still be living under a rock. If we continue down the path we're on, blocking every effort to develop the raw materials we all need, that's where we will eventually be.


"What if" the pipeline breaks and pollutes the Missouri River? "What if" the pipeline breaks and pollutes the Oglala Reservoir? Well, the fact of life is with any shared benefit, there is shared risk.

It will get cleaned up and life will go on.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17814) 8 years ago
Oddjob is correct. What were the negative consequences of the Exxon pipeline bursting in the Yellowstone river near Laurel a couple of years ago?

Oil readily biodegrades when exposed to sunshine and air. A few companies made some bucks doing cleanup, trial lawyers made a few bucks with lawsuits, but the end effect is no harm to human health and the environment.
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Posted by Oddjob (+190) 8 years ago
Gunnar:

I know that politically there is essentially zero we would ever agree on in a ten-beer discussion but I do appreciate your recognition that we have at least one opinion in common.

However, it should come as no surprise that I am no "iggles" fan either.....
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15202) 8 years ago
Richard

Perhaps you can educate us? Can you name ANY human endeavor that does not carry an element of risk?

Energy production benefits hundreds of millions of people and the past 180(?) years of history prove the risks to be manageable. That's why societies pursue this activity---for the benefit of all.

Had society been developed using the Luddite mentality of controlling all human endeavors based on "what if" scenarios, if we were here at all, we would still be living under a rock. If we continue down the path we're on, blocking every effort to develop the raw materials we all need, that's where we will eventually be.


"What if" the pipeline breaks and pollutes the Missouri River? "What if" the pipeline breaks and pollutes the Oglala Reservoir? Well, the fact of life is with any shared benefit, there is shared risk.

It will get cleaned up and life will go on.



There are no human activities that are free from some sort of risk. I never said explicitly or implicitly otherwise.

However, I believe my question about contingency plans is valid, given TransCanada's track record. The Keystone 1 pipeline has had numerous issues with failed components. There have been at least 12 spills out of a pipeline that was built in 2010. At the time, TransCanada claimed that it used "state of the art" components.

On May 7th, 2011, there was a spill in Brampton, ND. The findings of a formal investigation by the North Dakota Public Service Commission of the 21,000 gallon Keystone leak provided yet more evidence that safety regulations for conventional pipelines are inadequate for high pressure raw tar sands pipelines. The report found that the pipeline failure was not due to “any material or manufacturing deficiency” and that the “chemical compositions, mechanical properties and microstructure” met minimum design requirements for conventional pipelines. The report went on to state that the work required to prevent similar failures included 1) using stronger, thicker materials and 2) installing engineered pipe supports. In other words, conventional pipeline standards aren’t good enough for this pipeline. http://www.argusleader.co...518518.PDF

I am aware that the Keystone XL can be built in a triple wall piping system that would provide its own containment. The question is given TransCanada's propensity to cut costs and cutting corners and their track record to date, why should we trust them? Will it be built using this design?

I was in the room when TransCanada did their presentation for a pipeline that passed through Gillette and heard their sales pitch about how safe and modern the line would be. I saw personally the speed with which that pipe went in the ground. I heard and saw the damage when a 100 foot section of that line exploded. My skepticism is not without sound reasoning and justification.

Thus, I believe that asking some hard questions about contingencies are in order.

IMO, what is really a "Luddite mentality" is the discussion of building the Keystone XL pipeline in the first place when we really should be moving away from "developing such raw materials" like tar sands. The days of cheap oil are over. A world price below $75.00 per barrel would start to shut production in the Bakken down.

Perhaps you are familiar with the concept of "peak oil". Peak oil is not the end of the world, but it will be the end of the Oil Age. That doesn’t mean we’re running out of oil, but it does mean the world is running out of cheap oil. World oil prices have peaked just when countries like China, India, and Brazil have started to use lots of oil for the first time, competing with America, Europe, and Japan for the second half of world oil. The notion that Keystone XL would mean "U.S. energy independence" or continue the policy of cheap gas in the country are patently false. After this line is built, the price will go up, not down.

Instead of building a pipeline that will be obsolete in 20 years, we ought to invest in alternate transportation systems (solar powered high speed rail) and embrace other technologies and methodologies that will help us in becoming civilization 2.0. This is a risk worth taking.
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Posted by Oddjob (+190) 8 years ago
I have no argument with your concern for contingency plans. Manageable risk assumes the inclusion of the best available materials and technology. It appears that your environmental problem is generally rooted with tar sands development, so the pipeline hazard discussion is essentially irrelevant.

Yes, I am aware of the concept of "peak oil". It classes right up there with "global warming" and Paul Ehrlich's "Population Bomb" on the Chicken Little Scale. A considerable portion of the planet has never been seriously explored for additional energy resources and fracking technology was a game changer. Why else would the Luddites be in full panic mode? Demand drives the technology; it's not the other way around.

Solar powered high speed rail? Seriously?

As long as we are up for dumping money down a rat hole, my pipe dream is cold fusion high speed rail. Much lower carbon footprint.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15202) 8 years ago


Antwerp, 6 June 2011 – 16,000 solar panels installed on the roof of a high-speed rail tunnel in Antwerp, Belgium have been officially entered into service. The solar installation is the result of a collaboration between Belgian rail operator Infrabel, renewable energy developer Enfinity, the municipalities of Brasschaat and Schoten, intermunicipal financing companies FINEA and IKA, and solar construction company Solar Power Systems.

The project, known as the Solar Tunnel, is the first of its kind in Europe as it is the first time railway infrastructure has been used to generate green energy. The solar energy will be used in the Antwerp North-South junction (including Antwerp Central Station) by the trains and station servicing both conventional and high-speed trains.

The installation on the roof of the HSL4 (high-speed line Antwerp – Amsterdam) rail tunnel in Antwerp covers a total surface area of 50,000 m², about the size of 8 football pitches. The solar energy is used to power the railway infrastructure (signalling, lighting, heating of railway stations etc.,) and also the trains using the Belgian rail network. The installation should generate an estimated 3300 MWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of nearly 1,000 homes, and decrease CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons per year. Looking ahead, 4,000 trains per year – equivalent to one full day of rail traffic – will be able to run entirely on solar energy.

Belgian Railways will continue to invest in the use and generation of renewable energy with a view to sustainable, eco-friendly mobility. The objective is to make rail travel more environmentally friendly.


http://www.enfinitycorp.c...reen-train
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1913) 8 years ago
Very excellent post, Richard.

Do you know anything about brine-spill remediation, Richard?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15202) 8 years ago
I'm not a board-certified environmental engineer, nor do I play one on TV. That said, I would setup a soil sampling grid to identify the area of contamination, remove the contaminated soil to a land farm disposal site, and backfill the site with "clean" topsoil. There are lots of site dependent variables, size of spill, position in the landscape (hilltop vs creek bottom), land use, etc., that would modify the approach to the project.

I've not had the opportunity to be involved in a brine spill, so I don't have any direct experience. This was the approach I used to clean up an small oil spill, where a pipeline burst.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (1/6/2014)]
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1913) 8 years ago
Can corporations make their projects safe? Yes. WILL they make their projects safe? Not if it costs them one thin dime. Look at BP. Vast piles of money and they cut corners, killing 11 people outright and causing massive damage.
We need to hold their feet to the fire and watch them like hawks and sue their socks off when they screw up. Then we ordinary folks have a chance to survive corporate profit.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9380) 8 years ago
Yes, I am aware of the concept of "peak oil". It classes right up there with "global warming" and Paul Ehrlich's "Population Bomb" on the Chicken Little Scale.

Everything has a peak, you ignorant jackanape.
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Posted by David Schott (+17671) 8 years ago
I'm just relieved to know that a respected, licensed environmental engineer such as Gunnar Emilsson approves of me pouring my used motor oil down the storm drain. I used to lay awake at night worrying that the DEQ was going to come knocking on my door. I can't believe those schmucks who actually store their used oil in containers and take it to "hazardous" waste dropoff sites.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17814) 8 years ago
A better use for that used oil, Dave, is to spread it over a dirt road. Helps cut down on the dust.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15202) 8 years ago
Hey David... save that oil. Gunnar has a point. IF the ice skate rink on MC streets ever melts, pothole season will be a bitch. A little gravel and your oil might be all that we can afford.
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Posted by David Schott (+17671) 8 years ago
We don't have gravel roads in Redmond.
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Posted by Oddjob (+190) 8 years ago
"The installation should generate an estimated (Providing its never cloudy!) 3300 MWh of electricity per year, equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of nearly 1,000 homes, and decrease CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons per year. Looking ahead, 4,000 trains per year – equivalent to one full day of rail traffic – will be able to run entirely on solar energy."

Can you spell b-o-o-n-d-o-g-g-e-l?

This is a perfect example of how the EU will beat the U.S. in the race to the bottom.

At a cost of $20,000,000 (or is that 20M Euro?) this boondoggle generates enough power to satisfy the annual electricity consumption of nearly 1,000 homes. Isn't that precious?

That's $20,000/year/home. That's $1666.666 PER MONTH. About double the average American house payment. And right now it runs a few switches and lights. State of the art solar technology waiting for a quantum leap in violation of the Laws of Physics.

The boondoggle will "decrease CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons per year."

The environmental remediation quotient is essentially zero. Perhaps with another Trillion (or ten) spent, they will be able to offset the daily CO2 contribution of the Iceland volcanoes.

"Looking ahead, (To what? Billions in new taxes and fare hikes?) 4,000 trains per year – equivalent to one full day of rail traffic – will be able to run entirely on solar energy."

Do you see what the problem is here? There isn't enough money for this witchcraft and there never will be. Look at the "high speed rail" rape of the taxpayer going on in California right now. There's the legacy of How Green Was My Valley.

Bridger chimes in:

"Everything has a peak, you ignorant jackanape."

Yes, perhaps, and if you hold all the variables constant in your model, you can make a lot of false predictions on when they will occur.

Apparently you passed your peak long ago, if all you have left is hurling the usual insults.

[This message has been edited by Oddjob (1/6/2014)]
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Posted by Forsyth Mike (+476) 8 years ago
Then we ordinary folks have a chance to survive corporate profit.


That's a funny sentence. If it wasn't for "corporate profit" this world would be a very different place indeed. You wouldn't have a job, a car or much of anything else, for starters.

There are so many people in the world who think "profit" is an evil thing, and that they should get to decide how much money (if any) a company gets to make. I don't understand this.
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1913) 8 years ago
I don't mind profit. I mind greedy CEOS who are willing to let people die so they can get an extra buck in their fat pocket. I mind people who figure 40 or 50 or more precent profit is a-okay, even if the employees who actually make the money have to beg for food.
There is old-fashioned profit to be re-invested and then there is modern GREED.
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