Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bakken bomb trains are targeting Ohio and the Midwest

this week we have some definitive information on where and how many Bakken bomb trains are moving through Ohio daily, and by extension through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania or West Virginia on their way to East Coast refineries...first, in an analysis of Ohio Emergency Response Commission data previously kept from the public, the Columbus Dispatch has determined that 1.4 million Ohioans live within the half mile blast zone of rail tracks that carry explosive Bakken crude from North Dakota, mostly to refineries on the east coast, where much of it is refined for export...the total Ohio population in the 1/2 mile blast zone includes 15% of the residents of Columbus's Franklin County, and even a greater percentage of those in Cleveland and the other major cites connected by rail along the lake Erie shore...as you'll recall, it was a trainload of this same volatile and explosive Bakken crude that was responsible for the deaths of 47 people in a 2013 explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, and a train of the same crude that that created the monstrous "seen on TV" explosion and fireball in West Virginia 6 weeks ago...the Dispatch notes that the CSX train that exploded in West Virginia at that time had passed through Columbus only hours earlier...damn, we might have lost Kasich...

the graphic below, taken from the Dispatch article, shows the body count of Ohioans living in the blast zone of Bakken bomb trains, and a graphic of the counties and major cities affected by rails carrying them..obviously, the trains pass through the middle of most of the cities in the populous northern tier, for the simple reason that the rail road tracks were built to run to and through the major cities..

Bakken crude routes through Ohio

although the Dispatch article did not say how many trainloads of oil travel through Ohio each day, we did know from an Akron Beacon Journal investigation earlier this year that up to 49 trainloads "filled with highly volatile Bakken crude oil" were passing through Northern Ohio each week; typically, these would be unit trains of around 100 tank cars each, destined for refineries in Philadelphia and New Jersey...that Beacon Journal report coincided with an earlier Dispatch article that reported that between 45 million to 137 million gallons of Bakken crude were being moved through Ohio each week from North Dakota oil fields, of which 2 million to 25 million a week were passing through the Columbus area...

two days after the Dispatch article appeared, the U.S. Energy Information Administration provided, for the first time ever, a complete data base on movements of crude oil by rail, which will now continue as a monthly report from this information branch of the Energy Department, to add to their similar reports on shipments of oil by pipeline, tanker, and barge....like all data from the EIA, the information on oil train movements is broken down by regional PADDs, which is the acronym for the 5 US Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts, but the usage is so common that few who refer to the different PADDs likely dont even know that...also, in tracking movement between these regions, they exclude short-distance movements between nearby destinations within a region from their data...that said, they show crude by rail shipments as low as 55,000 barrels a day in 2010, rising to 124,000 barrels a day in 2011, 440,000 barrels a day in 2012, 816,000 barrels a day in 2013, and finally 1,000,000 barrels a day in 2014...the graphic below is one of 5 such graphics, one for each year, included under tabs on this EIA page, and shows the relative volume of crude that moved by rail during 2014...

Crude by Rail movements 2014

in the graphic above, each of the 5 PADDs is numbered and color coded, and the rail shipments from a given PADD are colored similarly, with the quantity of oil shipped by rail from each PADD in barrels per day represented by the size of the round dot and the thickness of the arrows, with the scale for both shown in the lower right corner..here we can see that virtually all of the shipments by rail originate in one of the areas that did not previously have pipeline infrastructure, as despite that the several fields in Texas far outproduce other US fields, little rail transport originates there....furthermore, what is quite obvious here is that the largest amount of oil being shipped by rail originates in the Bakken in North Dakota and nearby Montana and is shipped by rail through several Midwest states to the east coast...

on the current data page for January crude oil by train, we find that 1,045,000 barrels of oil per day were shipped by rail in the US in January, with 130,000 barrels a day of that originating in Canada, and 914,000 barrels a day originating in domestic fields...we'll include a picture of the table of those inter-PADD shipments for January below...in this table, the horizontal lines represent the regions that oil by train is being shipped from, while the columns indicate the PADD that oil by train is being shipped to:

January 2015 movements of crude by rail table

here we can see that just as in 2014, most of the oil shipped by rail in January originated in PADD 2, the Bakken region, as 704,000 barrels a day were shipped from there...the lion's share of that, 437,000 barrels per day, was being railroaded to the east coast, meaning it passed through most of the cities on the south shores of the Great Lakes...other major sources of the rest of the oil by rail traffic originated from the Niobrara crude of Colorado and the Rockies front range from PADD 4, or from Canada, and some from both of those sources also was destined for the east coast...considering that crude shipments from the Rocky Mountain states and Alberta to the east coast were probably also shipped through Ohio, it appears that up to 523,000 barrels per day, or more than half of the crude shipped by rail in the US in January, likely passed through Ohio on its way to its final destination...

while this information from the energy department tells us that we saw trains carrying 437,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude through our region, that's not a number that's easy to envision...however, since we know that a DOT-111 rail tank car has a capacity of 30,110 gallons of crude, we should be able to figure out how many carloads are likely to pass through our area each day...since there are 42 gallons in each barrel, that means a single rail car can carry a little less than 715 barrels...that means that to transport 437,000 barrels a day, a minimum of 612 tanks cars would be necessary daily...on a weekly basis, that would be 4284 oil filled tank cars, or 43 unit trains of 100 cars each weekly, and if some trains carry less than 100 tank cars, that's not too far off of the Beacon Journal's earlier estimate of 49 trainloads of Bakken crude Ohio sees each week...

(the above is from Focus on Fracking)

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