Canadian Town Evacuated After Another Oil Train Derails and Burns
Early in the morning of Feb. 6, an oil train derailed and caught fire near Guernsey, Saskatchewan, resulting in the Canadian village's evacuation. This is the second oil train to derail and burn near Guernsey, following one in December that resulted in a fire and oil spill of 400,000 gallons.
Drone footage of today's CP crude oil train derailment east of Guernsey, courtesy of Philippe Gaudet. #sask… https://t.co/MhqnJscBej— Guy Quenneville (@Guy Quenneville)1581015139.0
According to the CBC, eyewitness Kyle Brown reported that "he saw a huge fire after the train derailed."
"It looks like an inferno," said Brown. "Like a war zone, really. It is pretty bad."
The Canadian Pacific (CP) train was carrying crude oil and reportedly derailed approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from town. News reports indicate that the train crew escaped without harm.
CP train that derailed in Saskatchewan had 104 cars; 31 went off the tracks. As of about 1 pm ET, 12 were still on… https://t.co/viHqzQjyzw— CBC News Alerts (@CBC News Alerts)1581017507.0
Local resident Blaine Weber spoke to the Global News after this second derailment and expressed frustration that Canadian Pacific Railway, the rail company operating the trains, has not been forthcoming with answers about the derailments.
"CP doesn't seem to be answering any questions from either the public or the authorities," Weber said.
Canadian Pacific also is under scrutiny over a potential cover up of the details surrounding a runaway freight train accident in 2019 that resulted in the death of all three crew members.
Huge Increase in Canadian Oil-by-Rail Brings More Accidents
A month ago I wrote that the forecast for oil by rail for 2020 would include more trains, fires, and spills. The Canadian oil industry is moving record volumes of oil by rail to the U.S. and with that increase, expect to see more accidents.
"We see with the current differentials and arbitrage, it makes good economic sense for us to ship barrels on the rail," said Brad Corson, CEO of Imperial.
As DeSmog has reported in detail, these trains are currently unsafe to operate. The new tank cars that regulators and the rail industry promised were a safety improvement for reducing oil spills and explosions have now failed in five out of five major derailments.
U.S. regulations requiring oil trains to have modern braking systems, known as electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes — which Canadian operators would have had to comply with as well — were repealed in 2017.
And the volatile mixture of Canadian bitumen with condensate that is being moved in these Canadian trains has proven to ignite in derailments just like the volatile Bakken oil from North Dakota that was involved in the deadly Lac-Megantic, Quebec, accident in 2013.
With oil companies like Imperial making plans to greatly increase the use of rail to move Canadian oil to U.S. ports and refineries, my early predictions for 2020 are already coming true.
Smoke visible from the train fire and derailment near Lanigan Saskatchewan. CP has confirmed it was their train. It… https://t.co/F1B0qFY8Pf— Alicia Bridges (@Alicia Bridges)1581001720.0
Reposted with permission from DeSmog.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>