January 26 , 2014
New Website: www.dot111.info
For those of you who have followed my website through the years probably know, I have a passion for bird photography and just plain birding as well. I spend a lot of time with this hobby and quite often I find myself along the Mississippi River here in the Upper Midwest. Recently I noticed a huge increase in rail traffic along the river.
Most of this is due to an exponential rise in the amount of rail traffic carrying crude oil from the Bakken Region of North Dakota and Canada. In the first 9 months of 2013, 1 million barrels were pumped out of the Bakken Region. This year, it is projected to reach 2 million barrels per day. The majority of this oil is being moved by train and crude-related train incidents were up 12-fold from 2010 to 2013.
There is no way that the rail companies can ever reach 100% safety. There are always going to be derailments and the crude oil from the Bakken region is more volatile than other crude oil. The craziest part of all is that the majority of the 93,000 tank cars in service, only 14,000 of them are up to current safety standards. Their hulls are too thin to withstand derailments and quite frequently rupture causing massive explosions like those in La Megantic, Quebec or more recently in Castleton, ND.
Just to give you a flavor of what is going on along the Mississippi River, here's a video that I took on Friday of just one of many unit trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken Region on a daily basis:
Click here to watch the video of one of these mile-long unit trains.
My goal is to bring this matter to the attention of the U.S. White House and the U.S. Government. These deficient rail cars need to be taken out of service and replaced or fixed before the next derailment causes another catastrophe.
If you would like to help, I have started two petitions that I hope you will sign. One is directed at the White House, the second at the White House and Congress:
And finally, I have created a new web site devoted to the cause. There is so much going on related to oil tank car derailments and what the government and industry is doing or not doing about this issue, that I built this website to be a clearing-house of news stories related to DOT-111 tank cars. Literally, there are new news stories every day.
The website is called: www.dot111.info.
Thank you for your help regarding this.