RON SCHALOW FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
In a February 24, 2014, article, Think Progress said "Bakken shale crude oil is also the most explosive compared to oil from 86 other locations worldwide."
North Dakota leaders need to take immediate responsibility for the Bakken crude oil train explosions, and require producers to remove all explosive natural gas liquids (NGL's) from Bakken crude before shipping.
The Dot-111 tanker car is not suited for hauling watered down skim milk. It should go, but it is not the main reason for the violent and deadly explosions that have occurred over a 10 month period, from July 2013 to April 2014. The newer 1242 model cracked open during the Lynchburg, VA, derailment going 24 mph.
And, there can never be enough inspections and upgrades of the railroad tracks, and oversight of train movements, but we've been trying to keep trains on the tracks in this country for nearly 200 years, and there were still 1,260 derailments in the U.S. in 2013. Everything helps, but trains will continue to derail.
The explosions - the 300 foot fireballs, walls of fire, incinerated buildings, vaporized humans, fouled water, and poisoned soil - are primarily due to one simple fact, and it has to stop.
Years ago; Bakken oil producers in North Dakota made a business decision to not strip all of the explosive NGL's from the crude before shipping; AKA "stabilization." They deliberately chose not to remove all heptane, pentane, methane, propane, butane, ethane, isobutane, and, so on, from the crude oil, before filling the tanker cars. They make more money if they ship it all.
They picked a few extra bucks, over the lives of people. Greed. Why North Dakota officials have allowed this nonsense to go on for so long...we can only speculate.
North Dakota leaders, if there are any, need to take immediate responsibility for the Bakken oil train explosions, and the safety of U.S. citizens, by mandating Bakken producers to separate the explosive NGL's from the crude, or burn them off, before the next Lac-Megantic, QE, Aliceville, AL, Casselton, ND, or Lynchburg, VA. Not after.
New tanker cars will take years, and won't solve the problem.
Rail cars have never stayed on the tracks.
Flare off the explosive components, and do it now.
Better yet, stop the toxic extraction process – heavily reliant on fracking - altogether.
You can read Schalow's facebook page on the issue here.