May 1, 2014

Oil Industry And Railroads Shipping Shale Boom Riches Are Separated By Just An Eighth Of An Inch

From: International Business Times


Energy companies and the firms that make the rail cars carrying the flow of crude oil and other products from America’s shale boom are separated by a mere 1/8 of an inch.

That’s the added thickness in the walls of the steel rail cars that the manufacturers say is needed to achieve safe standards. The oil and gas industry argues that the current 7/16 of an inch thickness is adequate.

The debate is important because the U.S. is currently hammering out guidelines that will eventually set the new national standards for transporting hazardous cargo by rail.

The standards for tank cars have made national headlines after several fiery derailments of trains carrying crude in the past year, some near homes.


The White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review the DOT’s proposal. The turnaround usually takes about three months, but could take longer since the regulation in dispute is controversial and costly. The public will have a chance to submit comments before the final rules are set.

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