There have been many who have expressed concerns about whether the state is prepared to handle a train accident like the one in Casselton, or even worse Quebec.
All this week, WCCO Radio has reported on oil train safety and the fears some have about the potential for a derailment and explosion. But just what role do the oil and railroad industries have in keeping the trains on the tracks?
The number is staggering. More than 326,000 Minnesotans — most of them in the Twin Cities area — live within what is considered an evacuation zone in the event of a major oil train disaster. So, is the state doing enough to make sure local communities are protected?
WCCO’s Laura Oakes has the next in our five-part series, Tracking Danger: Minnesota’s Crude Reality.
Rice is a sleepy town of about 1,200 people, but every 15 minutes or so, trains come flying through the heart of it at 50 mph. These trains are carrying a variety of freight, but much of it is oil from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota.
WCCO’s Edgar Linares begins our five-part series Tracking Danger: Minnesota’s Crude Reality.
Democratic lawmakers say a string of recent explosive crude-by-rail derailments nationwide make it necessary to improve Minnesota’s railroad network. Five trains hauling crude oil have derailed since February. Sen. Scott Dibble, a Minneapolis Democrat, says it’s “sheer dumb luck” no similar accidents have happened in Minnesota. Seven or more trains haul North Dakota crude across the state daily.
After gas dipped below $2 last month, prices have begun to rise. Statewide Monday morning, Minnesotans are paying $0.17 more than we were one week ago. The average now sits at $2.41 a gallon. A month ago, it was $1.99.
Gas prices have dropped nearly 20 cents over the last two weeks, and they could keep dropping. The average price for gas is now $3.05 nationally, according to AAA.
In a clear, blue autumn sky, hundreds of American white pelicans soar in a circulating pattern above the Mississippi River flyway. The majestic birds with the eight-foot wingspan are slowly meandering their way along the annual fall migration to the Gulf of Mexico.
Railroad documents released by the state Department of Public Safety show about 50 trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota are passing through Minnesota each week.
Minnesota Pipe Line Co. announced plans Thursday to nearly double the capacity of a crude oil pipeline that carries oil from Canada and North Dakota to the two refineries in the Twin Cities that produce most of Minnesota’s and much of Wisconsin’s transportation fuels.
It is expected to take several days to clean up the mess caused by a leaking Canadian Pacific oil tanker train. The train left a 65-mile long oil spill from Red Wing to Winona on Monday morning before the leak was finally detected and stopped.
Enbridge Inc. has resumed shipping crude oil through a pipeline between western North Dakota and northern Minnesota after two shutdowns within a week due to leaks.
Canadian Pacific says the rail line where a derailment and crude oil spill occurred in western Minnesota has been re-opened. The railroad says an inspection and track repairs are complete and a cleanup is progressing.
Authorities say 14 cars of a Canadian Pacific Railroad have derailed in western Minnesota and at least three have spilled or leaked crude oil.
Sheriff’s officials say 14 cars of a train carrying crude oil derailed in western Minnesota and spilled some of its load.