Politics Blog

BNSF boss warns that oil trains will be stopped if they can't be made safe

The energy industry will lose its "social license' to carry Bakken crude oil by rail if the shipments cannot be conducted safely, BNSF Railway Co. executive chairman Matthew Rose told a North Dakota audience Wednesday, May 21.

In this report from Associated Press, Rose reviewed his railroad's response to a December, 2013 derailment and explosion in Casselton, N.D. Since then, BNSF has slowed train speeds in some areas and has ordered 5,000 rupture-resistant rail cars, among other things.

"Without focus on the elements of safety, the social license to haul crude by rail will disappear, to say nothing of the regulatory agencies' response," Rose told several hundred people at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck.