Making Oil-by-Rail Safer

March 24, 2014 by Geoffrey Styles

The growth of North American oil production from unconventional sources has resulted in a dramatic expansion in the volume of crude oil shipped by rail. Unfortunately, as crude oil rail traffic has increased, so have rail accidents involving crude oil.[read more]

Greens: 'Magical Thinking' on Oil-by-Rail Behind State's Keystone XL Assessment

February 12, 2014 by Elana Schor

The State Department softened some of its sunniest growth predictions for Canadian oil sands by rail in its final environmental review of Keystone XL -- but greens still warn that only analysts in rose-colored glasses could see trains as a viable substitute for the pipeline.[read more]

How Bitumen Gets to Market

December 18, 2013 by Robert Rapier

Bitumen Transport

On my trip to the oil sands, the logistical issues of getting the bitumen to market were a major topic of discussion. The issue has received widespread attention in recent years as a result of the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline extension, which many view, incorrectly as I will show, as essential.[read more]

Do Crude Oil Shipments Make Rail Less Safe?

September 9, 2013 by Geoffrey Styles

It’s been nearly two months since a train loaded with crude oil from North Dakota derailed and exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Since the accident authorities have focused on ascertaining the cause of the accident and determining how best to improve rail safety.[read more]

Crude Oil Rides the Rails

April 10, 2013 by Geoffrey Styles

Last month's publication of the State Department's latest environmental impact report on the Keystone XL pipeline project has sparked great interest in the logistics of shipping crude oil by rail.[read more]

How to Finance More Rail and Bus Lines

December 21, 2011 by Deron Lovaas

There’s a saying that Transportation Secretaries who served as Federal Highway Administrators have actually taken a step down. As with many sayings, there’s more than a grain of truth there. The highway agency is the largest “modal administration” (smaller although still large ones include the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration) and it has a lot of influence over federal transportation policy.[read more]

What Could We Substitute For Canadian Tar Sands Oil?

September 1, 2011 by A Siegel

This is a guest post from the thoughtful BruceMcF. There has recently been a flurry of activism regarding regulatory approval of the “XL Pipeline” in support of bitumen production from Canadian Tar Sands. Along with hundreds arrested in front of the White House, this is an issue that has attracted substantial attention from a variety...[read more]

Hybrid Locomotives + The Batteries They Need

August 15, 2011 by Jonathan Smith

Senior analyst Dave Hurst believes that we shall see growth in world use of hybrid locomotives due to “new diesel locomotive emissions regulations scheduled to go into effect in the European Union in 2014 and in North America in 2015″. New regulations will result in real change: exhaust treatments and retiring the most polluting engines...[read more]


German Rail: 1 Billion For Electricity From Hydropower

August 8, 2011 by Helmuth Ziegler

Germany’s rail operator Deutsche Bahn is under pressure: With the imminent abolition of nuclear energy in Germany new concepts for railway power are needed. This is why Dr. Rüdiger Grube, Chief Executive of Deutsche Bahn, and Dr. Jürgen Großmann, CEO of the important German energy provider RWE, signed a contract for the supply of...[read more]

energyNOW! Interview: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

April 25, 2011 by Silvio Marcacci

energyNOW! anchor Thalia Assuras sits down for a one-on-one meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The Obama Administration has put forward ambitious proposals to upgrade America’s planes, trains, and automobiles: high-speed railways, a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, and the expansion of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) fuel efficiency standards.[read more]

Unconventional Energy and Transportation Wisdom

April 8, 2011 by Deron Lovaas

Lisa Margonelli of the New America Foundation asked me to speak on a panel yesterday -- the entire thing was recorded and is available here -- along with Jed Kolko of the Public Policy Institute of California and Shin-Pei Tsay of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The topic was "unconventional wisdom" and we were looking at...[read more]

Greenpeace: Follow Buffet's pro-coal energy investments

March 1, 2011 by Rod Adams

Jim Riccio, a longtime professional Greenpeace activist, has posted a blog on Greenpeace International titled Obama, the Oracle of Omaha & Nuclear Power in which he strongly recommends that President Obama follow the energy investment lead provided by Warren Buffett. Here is a quote. Time and again, Buffett's corporation MidAmerican...[read more]

New Light Rail Stations May Not Increase Transit Ridership

October 24, 2010 by Tom Konrad

A report (pdf) by the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University found that new rail stations and transit-oriented development often fail to increase transit ridership. New stations can sometimes lead to gentrification that prices out renters and low-income households. Since such households...[read more]

Really Green Transit

February 1, 2010 by Hugh Bartling

Chicago artist Joe Baldwin just received approval to deploy his conceptual project, mobile garden, on the city’s mass transit rail system. Image taken from themobilegarden.org The idea is to configure a Chicago Transit Authority rail car into a mobile garden, which would visualize the possibilities for enhancing green space in the city...[read more]

Rail is Green, Like Money

June 3, 2009 by RyanAvent

Reading this post, by Streetsblog’s Sarah Goodyear, reminds me that it’s always good to reiterate that a quality rail system is not primarily about reductions in carbon emissions. Or secondarily. Or tertiarily. That rail is green relative to passenger vehicles or airlines is worth taking into consideration, and I expect that meaningful...[read more]