Mr Buffet over 45 dead with oil crude train transport this week-end in Quebec Canada ?????
The deadly weekend explosion of a runaway crude-carrying train in Quebec threatens to ratchet up scrutiny of rising crude-by-rail shipments on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border, amid a boom in North American oil production.
In both countries, shipments of crude by rail have shot up sharply, as producers race to get all their new oil to market and as pipeline companies scramble to build new lines or reconfigure old ones to handle the growing volumes. Meanwhile, uncertainty over several big pipeline projects—including approval delays for TransCanada TRP +1.97% Corp.’s Keystone XL, which would connect Western Canada’s booming oil sands development to the Gulf Coast—have sent some oil companies looking to rail as a longer-term solution.
A train disaster that killed five people in Quebec promises to touch off debate over the safety of shipping crude oil by rail or pipelines such as TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL.
There are two related but quite distinct questions here.
The first is whether we want to have oil at all? I have some sympathy with those who insist that for climate change reasons we want to reduce the amount of oil that we use. But there’s no way that we’re going to stop using it in the next couple of years, nor even, more likely, the next couple of decades. Even assuming that you hold views to the more catastrophic end of the spectrum about oil and fossil fuels it’s simply not going to happen that we’ll stop using them in anything less than decades at the very least.
So, if we assume that oil is indeed going to be drilled, pumped, shipped to refineries and then used, we want the system to do so which kills the least possible number of people in the process. Other things are also important, the environment and so on but our first duty is of course to people. At which point I think the decision moves firmly in the direction of pipelines. Yes, they can indeed split, yes it is possible for there to be an explosion in or of one. But by th
It appears that the train crash was not due to the safety of trains, but rather from a criminal sabotage... It seems unwarranted to consider this to be a reason to blame rail in general. Accidents happen with any form of transport--but this does not appear to be an accident. If a criminal sabotaged the rail, it could have just as easily been a pipeline that was sabotaged.
Pipelines can be a part of the transport of energy, but they would not be a good replacement of rail (which is much faster, and provides more flexibility for which refinery the oil is delivered to.. which is important to an economy, especially when a large storm could render some refineries inoperable... imagine a large amount of the pipelines going from the Bakken to some large refineries in Louisiana, just as a Katrina like storm hits. We are probably better off having an economic incentive for the railroads (including the BNSF) invest in the infrastructure needed to transport the oil.