RAIL SAFETY

Getty

One Year After Lac-Mégantic, We Still Need Better Rail Safety

On Sunday I drove through the village of Nantes, 11 kilometres to the northwest of Lac-Mégantic. This is where the fateful train began its out-of-control journey, a massive weapon rolling inexorably towards the heart of a community. I could see very clearly how the rail bed sloped downwards on its way out of Nantes, allowing the train in question to build up speed from the simple effect of gravity. How could this have been allowed to happen? To put it bluntly: it was a failure to take the proper safety measures to prevent the train from ever moving by itself. It was also a failure to understand the explosive nature of the crude oil being carried by the train.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rail vs. Pipeline Is the Wrong Question

Debating the best way to do something we shouldn't be doing in the first place is a sure way to end up in the wrong place. The recent spate of rail accidents and pipeline leaks and spills doesn't provide arguments for one or the other; instead, it indicates that rapidly increasing oil and gas development and shipping ever greater amounts, by any method