USA: California residents say transport by Valero of crude oil through towns would threaten safety - Valero responds

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8 July 2014

Crude oil train protests planned in Sacramento, Davis [USA]

Author: Tony Bizjak, Sacramento Bee (USA)

...[E]nvironmental activists...will gather this week at the Federal Railroad Administration office in Sacramento and at the Davis train station to protest plans by oil companies to run hundreds of rail cars carrying crude through local downtowns every day. The protests, on the anniversary of an oil train crash and explosion that killed 47 people in the Canadian city of Lac-Megantic, will spotlight a plan by Valero Refining Co. of Benicia to launch twice-daily crude oil train shipments through downtown Roseville, Sacramento and Davis early next year...The Davis City Council recently passed a resolution saying it opposes running the trains on the existing downtown Davis rail line...[Four] Northern California members of Congress [in a letter to the US Department of Transportation] said oil companies should be required to remove more volatile gases from Bakken crude oil before it is shipped nationally from North Dakota. The federal government issued a warning earlier this year about Bakken crude after several Bakken trains exploded during derailments. [also refers to Union Pacific]

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4 July 2014

Benicia: Valero defends crude-by-rail plans [USA]

Author: Tony Burchyns, Vallejo Times-Herald (USA)

As politicians call for more crude-by-rail safety measures, Valero recently defended its plans to bring up to two 50-car trains per day of Bakken crude from North Dakota to its refinery here...[R]efinery officials said the project -- which would allow Valero to import up to 70,000 barrels of crude per day by rail -- would benefit the economy and the environment by creating jobs and reducing emissions from smoggier boat deliveries of oil...Valero officials...tried to ease concerns about fiery rail accidents. They highlighted the city's finding that transporting oil by train carries a lower risk of spills than marine shipments. Project opponents, however, have questioned the study, which relies on safety data before the crude-by-rail boom in recent years. The Union Pacific trains traveling between Roseville and Benicia would always be attended, Cuffel said, unlike the runaway oil train that exploded and killed 47 people last year in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. 

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