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Monday, November 30, 2015

Oil trains and Howard County

   The environmentalist in me was glad to see the Keystone Pipeline not approved recently but I am conflicted when I see the use of trains like that pictured above recently just over the Howard County line in Sykesville.    I counted over 75 of these train cars on this train.  I could only image the impact on Sykesville if one of these cars caught fire.

   Goodbye to Baldwin Station restaurant and some of Main Street Sykesville.  We have already seen this play out in one town.

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Anonymous said...

Don't like oil trains? Shoulda built the Keystone pipeline.

Here's the thing. Oil is still being produced in the Alberta tar sands. There are no refineries within thousands of miles of those sands, and the cost of building refineries in Edmonton and Fort McMurray is prohibitive. So, the raw oil has to be shipped to refineries, on the Canadian coasts and the US Gulf Coast. That means either pipelines or rail.

A number of people I talked to were under the impression that if the Keystone XL pipeline wasn't built, the result would be shutting down oil production in the tar sands. Yea, environment!! The problem is, that production represents billions of dollars in investments, many by the Canadian and Albertan governments. It represents tens of thousands of jobs. It's peoples livelihood; it's their kids' college education; it's their retirement; it's their entire life. That doesn't stop just because a few people in Maryland might wish it would.

The oil is being sold on the world market, and if the Saudis ever decide to stop flooding the world with cheap oil, that Canadian production will be very profitable once again. So the production outfits there will tread water until the time is once again right.

And that oil will be shipped by rail, and there will be accidents like in Lac Megantic.

Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

duanestclair said...

What I wish for is that we commit the amount of dollars and effort to develop solar, wind and other environmentally friendly energy sources as we have to sustain the oil and coal production. We can continue to make choices that made sense in the past or begin to recognize that the world's future climate will cause us to move quickly (and expensively for a time) to minimize the impact that our present energy needs have on the world that our grandchildren will have to live in. Does anyone want to leave a world with dramatic climate challenges to our grandchildren?