Underscoring All Aboard Florida's and the Federal Government's lack of concern for public safety in favor of Crony Capitalism and corporate greed, the citizens of Lac-Megantic and Aliceville Alabama sadly learned the tax paying public has no control over what the mighty railroads and the federal government will allow on the tracks through a residential town. And citizens have no voice in how many trains, the decibel noise of the engines, the length of the trains, the vibration-causing weight of the trains, or the safety of the tracks. But they are required to put up with the disruptive and dangerous rail traffic, pay for the upkeep of the crossings, cover loan defaults and subsidize low ridership, non profitable passenger trains passing through towns with no stops and not enough population density to warrant future stations so that a junk bond investment firm can reap profits.
WE KNOW THAT ALL ABOARD FLORIDA IS ABOUT FREIGHT
Although the nation’s largest haulers of crude oil by rail on Tuesday appeared to abandon their insistence that information about such shipments could not be shared publicly for security reasons they are still hauling crude. From next to nothing four years ago, railways now transport nearly one-tenth of U.S. crude output, or around 800,00 barrels per day. Petroleum products shipments - of which about one-third are crude - make up 5 percent of its business, and are the second fastest-growing commodity.
Expansion of the Panama Canal would open up passage for up to 80 percent of global exports of natural gas, according to a federal stat shop.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that work to expand the passageway, which could be finished by late 2015, is an "important route" connecting the Pacific Ocean to Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Right now, however, the canal plays a limited role, the stat shop said, in moving global crude oil shipments.
When the expansion is finished, EIA said, larger vessels able to carry far more barrels of crude oil, would be able to transit the Panama Canal.
Meanwhile, states, including some that had previously signed nondisclosure agreements, also reversed course and made the information public with no protest from the railroads.
Florida currently receives three trains of Bakken crude weekly. A smaller railroad, Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway, hauls the trains to a terminal in Walnut Hill in the state’s panhandle. A document released by the state division of emergency management shows that the shipments originate on BNSF in North Dakota.
Accentuating the need to provide the information to emergency responders, one of the trains that was bound for Florida derailed last November near Aliceville, Ala. Though no one was killed or injured, the accident spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude and ignited a fire that could be seen for miles.
Read more on both articles here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/alabama-oil-train-derailment_n_... and here http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/06/24/231342_crude-oil-rail-shipment-dat...