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DOT issues new rules to minimize disaster when oil trains derail


Nearly a week before the fatal Philadelphia Amtrak derailment, a train carrying crude oil went off the tracks in rural North Dakota forcing the evacuation of the nearby town of Heimdal.

Indeed, plenty of the 9 million barrels of oil produced each day in the United States run through pipelines, but most of the oil extracted from the ground in North Dakota is transported by freight rail hundreds of miles across the country.

That means the risk is for explosive accidents is higher.

After a handful of oil train derailments already in 2015, federal regulators took notice, enacting on May 1 a raft of new rules they hope will prevent future accidents.

The proposed rules called for strengthening the types of cars that carry oil and phasing out or retrofitting older models that may be more prone to rupture during an accident.

Russell Gold, the author of the book, The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World, and an energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal, joins the NewsHour’s Stephen Fee via Google Hangout to discuss the implications for the industry.

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