Federal Department of Transportation predicts 10 oil derailments A YEAR for next 20 years

The price of doing business: 4 billion dollars for collateral damage/human death/environmental spills.

By  Mathew Brown and Josh Funk of the Associated Press


Editorial note:  For those of you who are counting, in February 2015 there were 6 derailments between the US and Canada.  Of those 6 derailments, 2 trains were carrying fuel.  They exploded and contaminated adjacent waterways.

rolling drunk of petroleum


Refinery Explosion in Southern California registers 1.7 on the Richter Scale

Ash rains down from the sky; Children in 14 nearby school shelter in place.

Editorial note:  Jay Gunkleman has advised us that the catalytic cracker unit (which was new) was the source of the explosion.  The catalyst is likely a metal like Vanadium, and the chemistry is likely alkaline, similar to the CataCarb release from Rodeo’s refinery in the 1990s at then Unocal (now P66), where the catalyst was full of Boron, vanadium and “secret ingredients” they never did disclose.  The LA neighborhood (Torrance/Compton) has ash deposited following the explosion/fire… as well as the refinery itself…. likely not healthy for dermal or respiratory exposure, much like Crockett had following the release locally.  It will be interesting to track the details of this refinery explosion and the local impacts.  At the very least, ash samples should be tested for metals and acidity/alkalinity

la refinery explosion 2  LA refinery explosion

Here are two links to the story:

By Veronica Rocha and Rueben Vives (L.A. Times, February 18, 2015)


By Tami Abdollah (Associated Press, February 18, 2015):


Derailed CSX train in West Virginia hauled newer-model tank cars

All of the oil tank cars on the 109-car train were  CPC 1232 models.                           Newer.  Tougher.

Apparently not..  The rapid uptick in crude-by-rail accidents are the product of a 40-fold increase in crude-by-rail shipments since 2008.

Reprint from Reuters

A CSX Corp train continues burning a day after derailing in Mount Carbon, West Virginia


Oil train derails in Boomer, West Virginia. Over 1,000 people evacuated during multiple massive explosions

Tankers fall into river.  State of Emergency called by the Governor.



This is the second derailment on one week.  The other one was in Ontario, Canada:


Rodeo P66 Propane Expansion Project approved over protests

Appellants have 30 days to sue to win safety concessions for both workers and the community and to get the refinery to run a cleaner operation


Pictured above: Greg Karras of Communities for a Better Environment, waits his turn to speak.  (Photo Credit: Dan Honda, Bay Area News Group.)

A quick synopsis:  The Co. Co. County Board of Supervisors brushed past many fatal flaws in the Rodeo P66 EIR.  Just for starters: the EIR refused to admit that the Propane Expansion Project was, in truth, a Canadian Tar Sands Project (and thus, would create tremendous amounts of local pollution and endanger both worker and community safety as currently designed.)

But the P66 EIR for the Nipomo/Santa Maria refinery in San Louis Obispo County spelled it out in black and white: Canadian Tar Sands will come to P66 in San Louis Obispo County by barge. Then after being  slightly refined, the crude will be shot up through the pipeline directly into the P66 coker unit in Rodeo.  The rest will barrel up California in rolling bomb trains on a train track ….near you.

For a CRUDE’S more lengthy analysis of the rather surreal hearing:     https://crockett-rodeo-united.com/p66-propane-project/

Two reporters were present at the hearing.  Here are their takes:

Jean Tepperman, East Bay Express  February 5, 2015


Tom Lochner, Contra Costa Times February 4, 2015