Inside Energy: New recommendations on oil train safety

Aug 10, 2015

A new report on the safety of transporting crude oil by rail says to focus less on oil flammability and more on preventing crashes.

Inside Energy’s Emily Guerin reports.

Since 2009, there has been an over 4000 percent increase in the amount of crude oil carried by trains. That’s because the newest oil booms are happening in places without pipelines, like North Dakota. And even though the overall accident rate for railroads is falling, more trains means more crashes.

A new report by the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure, a non-profit focused on safety, says we should focus less on the oil and the train cars, and more on what’s causing most trains to crash -- human error and problems with the rails and track. The report recommends new rules zero in on those two factors.