Crude oil mushroom cloud – what if that were Philadelphia?


I’m not sure what the Apocalypse would look like and I sure as hell hope I never find out, but you have to think it would look a little like some of the pictures that I saw this past week coming out of West Virginia. A massive CSX train laden with crude-oil tank cars tried to plow its way through the latest winter storm to devastate the northeastern United States this season. That turned...

The time to get rid of unsafe oil tanker cars is right now


There’s a crisis going on right now in this country with oil transportation. It’s happening because of the oil-fracking boom in North Dakota, mainly, and also to some extent because of the exploitation of the Canadian tar sands. Fossil fuel production has boomed — but in a region with no pipeline to transport the oil to refineries or for shipment abroad.  Since the region is...

Near disaster in Philly highlights an oil-by-rail safety crisis


Philadelphia — the densely populated 5th-largest city in America — dodged a bullet this week…but just barely: IT COULD HAVE been worse – a lot worse. None of the seven CSX cars – six of them loaded with volatile crude oil – that derailed on the 128-year-old rail bridge over the Schuylkill between University City and Grays Ferry about 12:30 a.m. yesterday fell...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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