Shipping crude oil by rail is a pretty risky business. All liability for spills, explosions, and the like rests entirely on the rail companies once the materials are dropped off at the depot. This puts rail companies at risk, but one company -- Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) Burlington Northern Santa Fe -- is especially vulerable to this problem because of its rail links to the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota. In light of the multiple rail accidents involving Bakken crude, the Department of Transportation is taking measures to ensure that shippers are more accurately testing and labeling their crudes based on their flammability, which will lead to the use of safer tank cars for transport.

Not only will this affect rail companies such as BNSF and CSX (NASDAQ:CSX), but it could also dig into the profits of many oil producers and refiners such as Tesoro (NYSE:ANDV), Continental Resources, and Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS). Find out why these energy companies will be affected more than others and what this will ultimately mean for rail companies by tuning in to the following video.

Tyler Crowe owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. You can follow him at under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google+, or on Twitter, @TylerCroweFool.

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