Explosive oil is passing thru New Jersey! Trains are going through New Jersey all the time with tank cars carrying oil from the shale oil country that is extremely explosive. Yes, I said explosive and I am talking about unrefined oil not gasoline or diesel fuel! Most of this oil is either Bakken crude or Tar Oil from Canada and it is a very volatile petroleum oil.
Why is this oil being transported via rail instead of by pipeline you might ask, well there are no pipelines that can transport it in those areas where it is found. The tank cars being used are very old and do not meet the latest standards either. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been recommending that the most commonly used rail cars carrying crude today (the DOT-111 type tank car) be removed from use for flammable substances since 1991.
In February of this year a train consisting of these tank cars derailed near Charleston West Virginia and thirty of its cars exploded. What if this happened in New Jersey? Well I can tell you that a large number of causalities would be the result and much of the surrounding area would go up in flames. If the houses and businesses nearby weren’t destroyed by the initial blast of the tank car(s) carrying this shale oil the spreading fire would burn them up.
Per an article from Bloomberg Business, “The West Virginia accident came less than a month after the U.S. Department of Transportation sent a proposal for new safety standards to the White House for approval. The rules were supposed to have been submitted at the end of last year but were delayed amid lobbying from railroads, oil producers, and tank car manufacturers. Part of the problem has been crafting regulation that’s broad enough to address a range of safety issues—including speed limits, braking systems, and track maintenance—but that can also withstand potential legal challenges from the affected industries. “All the stakeholders have their opinions, and they are aggressive in protecting their turf,” says Joe Szabo, who stepped down as head of the Federal Railroad Administration in January.”
The oil industry and the others industries involved in the use of these tank cars have forced our Department of Transportation (DOT) to let some of these accidents on rails to stay in service for maybe as long as a decade from now. There have been comments that if you made the tank cars as sturdy as a military tank, you still would have accidents. Well all I have to say is that the cars must be designed with double walled tanks just like the type used on tanker (ships). This will prevent more accidents and those tank cars that are of the old obsolete type should be retired from service ASAP!
If none of the above is done, then these dangerous carriers of a very volatile version of oil should be kept of New Jersey. We have more people per mile than any other state and these cars pass through areas where houses backup upon the train tracks. What are we waiting for? If a tanker train accident happens here in New Jersey a very large number of deaths and casualties would be the guaranteed result. And never mind how many square miles of property would be destroyed.
Write your congressperson, state representatives, the President and anyone else you might think of that can be of help in stopping these trains from going through New Jersey.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike