East Bay and South Bay passenger rail corridor proposed to move crude oil

By Tom Lochner Contra Costa Times : constracostatimes – excerpt

BERKELEY — The tracks that carry Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains through about a dozen heavily populated East Bay and South Bay communities could become a rail superhighway for potentially explosive crude oil transports to Central California under a plan by the Phillips 66 oil company, Berkeley officials warn.

A project at Phillips 66’s Santa Maria refinery would enable it to receive crude oil from North American sources that are served by rail, according to a draft environmental report under review by San Luis Obispo County.

The report identifies the most likely source of the crude as the Bakken oil field that covers parts of North Dakota and Canada. Last July, a train carrying Bakken crude exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 people and nearly destroying the town.

This latest project would add to a growing trend in California to receive imported oil over land via rail rather than by sea. The train cars filled with oil would roll through Sacramento, the East Bay and South Bay on Union Pacific tracks, switching to the UP’s Coast Line and on to Santa Maria, according to Berkeley officials who have analyzed the Santa Maria report …(more)

RELATED:
State Senator: California not Prepared for Accident Involving Train Carrying Crude Oil – The California Energy Commission said the amount of crude oil being transported by train to the Bay Area has sky rocketed thanks to an oil boom in North Dakota and Canada–but that is raising concerns with at least one state lawmaker… (more)
Reality Check: U.S. Top Oil Producer by 2015?

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