oil

EarthFix Report
9:12 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Oil Train Derailed In Interbay Rail Yard

KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Three tanker cars in an oil train from North Dakota derailed at a rail yard in Seattle early Thursday, but BNSF Railway says none of the oil spilled.

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Industry Regulations
2:50 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Can A 'Bigger Hammer' Stop Oil Refinery Accidents?

Ross Reynolds talks with Dave Fehling, energy and environment reporter for StateImpact Texas, an NPR reporting project, about oil refinery accidents and what happens when they're criminally prosecuted.

EarthFix Reports
10:25 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Rail Workers Raise Doubts About Safety As Oil Trains Roll On

Tank cars, many of them placarded as holding crude oil and other hazardous materials, sit in a BNSF yard in Northwest Portland.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Tony Schick

Curtis Rookaird thinks BNSF Railway fired him because he took the time to test his train’s brakes.

The rail yard in Blaine, Washington, was on heightened security that day, he remembers, because of the 2010 Winter Olympics underway just across border in Vancouver, B.C.

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News
1:49 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Report: Agency Blocked Urgent Recommendations For Tesoro Refinery Safety

Tesoro's Anacortes oil refinery in May.
Credit KUOW/John Ryan photo

In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert.

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EarthFix Report
1:43 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Northwest States Tread Lightly With Oil Train Route Disclosures

Railroads are being required by the federal government to share some information with states about their shipments of oil from North Dakota's Bakken fields. But they don't want the states to disclose that information to the public.
Flickr Photo/Russ Allison Loar

The Northwest’s two main freight rail operators are complying with a federal requirement to inform states about the North Dakota crude oil they’re hauling, but they want the states to keep the public from finding out by signing non-disclosure agreements.

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Oil Trains
8:23 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Despite Confidentiality Concerns, BNSF Will Report Oil Shipments To States

File photo of a BNSF locomotive pulling a shipment of crude oil

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 4:14 pm

BNSF Railway said Friday it will comply with Saturday's federal deadline to provide states with information about the frequency and routes of oil trains from North Dakota and Montana.

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Central Oregon
8:08 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Oil Train Preparedness A Gap For Oregon's Hazmat Response

Photo of an oil train headed south through the Deschutes River Gorge Sunday, May 4.
Courtesy of Friends of the Gorge

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:11 pm

For seven years, Central Oregon has been without a state hazardous materials team.

It means that in the event of an oil train spill in Deschutes County, the closest team assigned to the area comes from Salem, roughly two and half to three hours away.

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Workplace Safety
1:48 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Feds Urge Tighter Refinery Regulations After Fatal Tesoro Blast

Chemical Safety Board investigators inspect wreckage at the Tesoro-Anacortes refinery in 2010.
Chemical Safety Board

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is calling for 60 improvements in the design, operation and regulation of the Tesoro oil refinery in Anacortes and of refineries nationwide.

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Business
11:19 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Gasoline Prices Rise As U.S. Refineries Send More Fuel Overseas

With so much fuel headed elsewhere, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is now $3.69, compared with $3.53 a month ago, according to AAA.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 11:28 am

The weather is warming and vacation season approaching.

And, just as predictably, the price of gasoline is rising. It does that every spring as refineries switch to more expensive summer blends.

But this year, the seasonal price bump is getting an extra bounce. Gasoline is costing consumers about 5 percent more than last year at this time, even though oil supplies are abundant. Why?

Experts say U.S. retail prices are nudging higher in large part because Gulf Coast refineries are sending more gasoline to other countries.

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EarthFix Reports
9:21 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Residents Voice Fear And Concern Over Grays Harbor Oil Terminals

Westway's Grays Harbor Terminal is located in the Port of Grays Harbor, Wash. According to Westway, the port is the only Pacific Coast deep water port north of San Francisco.
EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

HOQUIAM, Wash. — More than 100 people gathered at the local high school Thursday night with questions and concerns about proposals to build train-to-ship oil terminals in their community.

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Land Erosion
12:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

As La. Coast Recedes, Battle Rages Over Who Should Pay

Man-made canals built for the oil and gas industry cut through wetland. The industry argues those canals aren't to blame for coastal erosion.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:33 pm

Louisiana's coast is disappearing at the rate of about a football field an hour. Since the 1930s, the Gulf of Mexico has swallowed up an area the size of Delaware.

You can see the water encroaching in Delacroix in St. Bernard Parish, less than an hour southeast of New Orleans. Here, a narrow crescent of land known locally as the "end of the world" is where the road abruptly comes to a dead end; in the distance, you see the tops of now-submerged trees.

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EarthFix Reports
6:15 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Urged To Support Oil Train Funding, Northwest Senator Seeks Answers

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden, left, and Jeff Merkley met with local officials in Portland to discuss oil train safety earlier this year. Now they're calling for a new fund devoted to it.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Tony Schick

Fellow U.S. senators are calling on Washington’s Patty Murray to support major investments in oil train safety, but first she wants some answers.

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Arctic drilling
10:52 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Coast Guard Blames Kulluk Grounding on Shell Oil's Complacency, Risk Taking

The Kulluk, hard aground off Alaska's Sitkalidak Island in January 2013
U.S. Coast Guard

A US Coast Guard investigation blames Shell Oil's complacency and risk-taking for an oil rig running aground on a remote Alaskan Island on New Year's Eve 2012.

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EarthFix Reports
9:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

EarthFix Conversation: 25 Years Later, Scientists Remember The Exxon Valdez

Killer whales swimming in Prince William Sound alongside boats skimming oil from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Scientists report that orca populations there have not recovered and oil is still being found.
Credit Courtesy of State of Alaska/Dan Lawn

Twenty five years ago today the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, Calif., ran aground in Prince William Sound.

Eleven million gallons of oil spilled out, polluting 1,300 miles of Alaska’s coastline.

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StoryCorps
9:07 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Animal Rescuers Create Joy Amid Chaos After Exxon Valdez Spill

Suzanne Bishop (left) and LJ Evans met while volunteering at an animal rescue center in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 9:21 am

It's been 25 years since the Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Alaska, spilling millions of gallons of oil into Prince William Sound.

The impact on wildlife was devastating. Cleanup crews poured into the nearby port town, also called Valdez, where an animal rescue center was set up.

"The chaos is incredibly difficult to describe or even imagine," says LJ Evans, a local resident who volunteered to help. "Somebody came back with the first bird — the reporters were so frantic, somebody got in a fight trying to take a picture of this poor little oiled bird."

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