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The risks associated with oil trains reached the upper level of the White House...the administration balked at addressing the problem in new regulations governing crude oil trains that it's preparing to introduce this spring.

Exclusive: White House mulled, then balked at curbing explosive gas...

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Comment by tim devabey on March 6, 2015 at 7:59pm

As yet another oil “bomb train” burns, this time in Illinois about 1000 feet from the Galena River — with a one-mile evacuation zone — the message could not be more clear. The newer, “safer” 1232 rail cars are exploding just like the “unsafe” DOT-111 rail cars. The DOT-111 cars were implicated in many derailments since 47 people were incinerated by a burning Bakken Shale oil train in Lac Megantic, Canada in July 2013. But as the February 16th West Virginia fireball and today’s oil rail cars aflame show, it’s not the rail cars, it’s the cargo: uber-flammable, climate-harming Bakken Shale oil is not safe by rail, by pipeline, or by barge.

Here is major news coverage followed by related organizing news and events in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and New York:

Reuters: BNSF oil train derails in rural Illinois; two cars aflame

Chicago Tribune: BNSF: Oil train derailment near Galena involved safer tank cars (includes video)

Huffington Post: Freight train carrying crude derails near Illinois city (photos)

Chicago Sun-Times: Agencies mobilize after crude oil train derails, catches fire near ...

KWQC: Moment by moment updates, photos on site in Galena

Thonline.com breaking news: UPDATE: BNSF to set up claims center after derailment

Thonline.com breaking news: UPDATE: BNSF to set up claims center after derailment


Flames from BNSF Bakken Shale oil train derailed directly adjacent to the Galena River in Illinois, March 5th, 2015. Photo: Mike Bureley, thonline

Related: PA, NJ, NY, VA news:

Philadelphia City Council will vote on a Resolution to protect residents from exploding oil trains on Thursday, March 12th. Come in person. To testify, call the Clerk: (215) 686-3410 on Tues. or Weds.

What: Philadelphia City Council general meeting

When: Thursday, March 12th, 10 AM.

Where: City Hall, Broad and Market Streets, 4th Floor, Council Chambers. Remember to bring your photo ID.

Bring: Small paper signs, no sticks, with your messages, such as: “Ban the bomb trains,” “Ban DOT-111 and 1232 rail cars,” “Protect Philly: No Flaming, no Flaring, no Fracking Bakken Shale Oil Trains”

New Jersey: Rally and Press conference Saturday, March 7th, 2015:

Host:  Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains
What: Rally & Press Conference
When: Sat. March 7 at 2pm – 3:30 pm
Where: Abram Demaree Homestead, Corner of Schraalenburgh Road & Old Hook Road at Oradell Reservoir overpass, Closter, NJ.
Parking: available at United Water, 200 Old Hook Road, Harrington Park, NJ – short walk to homestead & farm.
Contact: Rosemary Dreger Carey: mobile: 201-841-5171

Pennsylvania statewide: After three oil train derailments in Pennsylvania in little over one year, PennEnvironment assessed who’s at risk, and where. See their report: Danger Around the Bend.

Virginia: Officials have proposed a $361,000 civil fine to CSX for the Lynchburg derailment and spill last year, plus the costs of investigating the derailment. The massive conflagration and oil spill caused the river to catch fire when a CSX oil train derailed, exploded and burned near Lynchburg last year.

New York: The town of Esopus, already in harm’s way from both oil trains and barges, is also threatened by the controversial proposed Pilgrim Pipelines, which would carry Bakken Shale oil south from Albany to Linden, NJ and refined products like jet fuel and gasoline north, doubling the risk of explosions and leaks. Esopus is holding a forum tomorrow, opposing Pilgrim pipelines with the theme: “Oil trains vs. barges vs. pipelines: A False Choice”:

What: The Esopus Pilgrim Pipelines Community Forum

When: Saturday, March 7th from 10:30 AM to 12 noon

Where: Esopus Library, 128 Canal Street, Port Ewen, New York. 

Speakers: Jen Metzger, Citizens for Local Power and Councilmember, Town of Rosendale; Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper; Iris Marie Bloom, Protecting Our Waters and Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipelines-NY.

Special Appearance: Sen. Kevin Cahill, or staffer, will make a special announcement at the forum.

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