Justin Mikulka

Half a Million California Students Attend School in Oil Train Blast Evacuation Zones

A new analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity finds that 500,000 students in California attend schools within a half-mile of rail tracks used by oil trains, and more than another 500,000 are within a mile of the tracks.

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How a GOP Rep Is Delaying Safety Improvements for "Bomb Trains"

“I just want to make sure that we are all singing the same tune that we have a very safe industry and we want to work together on improving that industry.”

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Dangerous Bomb Trains Return to the Town That Was Devastated By One

“We’re seeing strong growth. We’re seeing some large accounts come back. The future is bright.”

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Natural Gas as 'Bridge Fuel' Is Excellent Political Solution But Fails As Climate Solution

“We cannot solely rely on abundant gas to solve the climate change problem. The climate change problem requires a climate change solution. Abundant gas could be great for any number of things, but it is not going to solve the climate change problem.”

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Goldman Sachs Warns Investors to Avoid Oil-By-Rail, While Investing in Oil-By-Rail

In 2009, Matt Taibbi wrote a piece in Rolling Stone in which he described the investment bank Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” 

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Should CEOs Get Jail Time For Oil-By-Rail Accidents Like Lac Megantic?

On May 12th, a heavily armed SWAT unit stormed the home of Thomas Harding and threw Harding, his son and a visitor to the ground. Harding was then handcuffed, arrested and taken for interrogation.

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Playing With Fire: U.S. Regulators Resort to Weak Voluntary Measures For Oil-By-Rail Safety

Last year, Jeffrey Wiese, an official with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) told an industry conference that the regulatory process was “kind of dying.”

According to InsideClimate News, Wiese even mentioned that PHMSA was working on a YouTube channel to “persuade the industry to voluntarily improve its safety operations,” as this was one of the only ways it could attempt to improve safety.

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Why Nothing Is Being Done to Improve Oil-By-Rail Safety

Since the oil train explosion in Lac-Megantic in July of 2013, we have learned that there are some obvious safety issues that need to be addressed regarding transportation of crude oil by rail. The first is that the majority of the rail cars transporting this oil are DOT-111’s which have been deemed unsafe due to their tendency to rupture in accidents. The second is that Bakken crude oil can be explosive and isn’t being properly classified for transport.  

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