Transporting Crude Oil By Rail

2801 Words12 Pages
Transporting Crude Oil by Rail: Overview of Policy Issues and Options By: Alicia Tighe Contents Overview 1 Timeline 2 Recent Activity 2 Policy Issues and Options 3 Oil spill response planning 3 Liability 4 Route planning and selection 4 Classification of hazardous materials 5 Tank car standards 5 Safety requirements and inspections 6 Emergency response notification requirements 6 First responder training and equipment 7 Overview A rapid increase in the transport of crude oil by rail will require updated regulations to ensure the safety of lives and property, a topic that will likely be a key issue in the coming months due to pending legislative and regulatory activity. In 2013, railroads originated more than 400,000 carloads of crude oil, or about 800,000 barrels per day, which represents a 42-fold increase from 2008. This trend is expected to continue as domestic production of shale oil grows, since rail offers a convenient method of transportation to refineries from these newer production sites that are not well served by existing pipeline infrastructure. Accompanying this growth is an increasing number of incidents and amount of property damage, setting records the past three years. Many of the laws and regulations regarding the shipment of crude oil were created before this rapid increase, and are inadequate for the unforeseen boom in transporting oil by rail. This document provides an overview of major policy issues and recommendations on this topic gathered from
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