In Con Artistas I talked about how life seemed to imitate art. One point was that the transport of crude by rail had become profitable because of regulatory intervention. I commented that, "Likewise, Environmentalists opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline are expanding their fight against imports of Canadian heavy crude oil by trying to block rail projects that offer another way for it to enter the U.S." Thus, another point was that forces were at work to make the matter even more distorted.
Now we have a real life train wreck with spilled crude oil and fire. So here it goes south, as reported from the LA Times:
- By evening, fearing toxic smoke, local officials were urging the entire town to evacuate, as well as residents five miles to the south and east.
- The National Transportation Safety Board said investigators were set to arrive in North Dakota on Tuesday morning.
- In the aftermath of the previous accidents, the Federal Railroad Administration issued an emergency order that tightened operating rules on carrying crude, prohibiting operators from leaving crude trains unattended without getting prior regulatory approval.
- Separately, the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration began steps to improve the safety of tank cars.