1 Explosive Risk That Could Derail America's Oil Boom

Photo credit: Flickr/Roy Luck.

Railway operators like Berkshire Hathaway's BNSF, CSX (NYSE: CSX  ) , and Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE: GWR  ) are all profiting from carrying oil from America's oil boom. There's just one problem: This boom is becoming way too literal, as several oil trains have derailed over the past year and exploded. It's a growing risk that has the potential to derail America's oil boom.

I've created the below slideshow that details some of the recent train derailments involving oil. The presentation takes a look at the Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF fireball derailment last December in North Dakota, Genesee & Wyoming's explosive derailment in Alabama in November, as well as the most recent derailment of a CSX train in Lynchburg, Virginia. In addition to that,I'll take a look at several other notable train wrecks involving oil in the U.S. as well as the tragic oil train disaster in Canada last year.

What's worrisome is that many of these disasters are happening hundreds of miles away from booming oil production basins. We're seeing trains overturn and explode in both rural areas and cities, and while the U.S. has been spared a major disaster, there's always the risk that the next oil train explosion will be the big one that derails the oil boom until permanent pipelines are finally built. 

A better way for oil to travel
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  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 4:48 AM, Interventizio wrote:

    Excellent. You can fix a leak in a pipeline, but you can't rewind a train disaster once it's happened.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 6:33 PM, wdburt1 wrote:

    It is not news that railroads handle hazardous materials--mostly safely, but with occasional accidents. It is not news that Bakken oil, unlike some past types of crude oil, may explode. That is neither the beginning or the end of the discussion.

    What "news" do you have to contribute?

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