Anti-oil activists have been making a stink about rail safety of late, blustering about “bomb trains” and other hyperboles. And while the safe transport of oil is certainly a worthy topic of discussion, one gets the idea that these train derailments are less about public safety than about hamstringing oil.
With the anti-oil activists successfully roadblocking pipeline projects like the Sandpiper and Keystone lines, oil companies (particularly here in North Dakota) are forced to rely on rail. If the activists can roadblock oil transportation too, then can effectively put a cork in a big chunk of domestic oil production.
To illustrate this point, consider that a train in Tennessee derailed this morning forcing the evacuation of 5,000 people. The train wasn’t carrying oil, though, but rather a caustic material used in manufacturing.
(WBIR-Maryville) Authorities said at least 5,000 people are under a mandatory evacuation Thursday morning following a CSX train fire in Blount County, and they should plan to at least find somewhere else to spend the night tonight.
CSX said there were no injuries reported from the train derailment.
Around midnight, Craig Camuso, Regional Vice President for CSX, said they received the report of one car that derailed and caught fire near Old Mt. Tabor Road, which is located off Highway 321, just west of the Foothills Mall.
The CSX train consisted of 57 cars, including 27 cars that were carrying hazardous material. Nine of those were carrying Acrylonitrile, which is a flammable and poisonous liquid, and that’s the car that is now on fire. According to the EPA’s web site, Acrylonitrile is primarily used in the manufacture of acrylic and modacrylic fibers. It’s known to cause mucous membrane irritation, headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
So, we can expect blanket cable news coverage and an extra special commentary from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow like we got after the Heimdall oil train derailment, right? After all, that’s what we get with oil train derailments, and this was certainly a dangerous derailment. No explosion, sure, but a release of hazardous material that necessitated the mandatory evacuation of thousands of people.
But that’s not going to happen with this derailment, just as it didn’t happen earlier this year with a fiery ethanol train derailment in Iowa, because let’s face it. The problem the media/political activists have with oil train derailments it that they involve oil. They hate oil, and they’d rather America not produce any of it.