Washington, D.C./Berkeley, CA -- A new report released by Earthworks today makes concrete recommendations to minimize the threats posed by oil trains traveling through communities across the United States. These trains transport volatile, fracked oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.
The chaotic destruction of productive farmland, beautiful badlands and people’s lives in North Dakota to exact oil is unnecessary. The oil could be extracted without destroying the place in the process.
State officials have allowed the oil industry to produce a product before the industry made sure it had transportation, disposal of its radioactive waste, safety, housing, law enforcement and most other infrastructure available. Now, to fix their poor planning, they want you and me to take the risk for their contamination, exploding trains, and other problems.
The impacts of this fast-as-possible oil extraction reaches across North America.
North Dakota’s Bakken oil field is one of the most active fracking sites in the U.S. It's so big, you can see the flares burning from outer space.
Most people will never visit the Bakken. Far removed from major cities, it is difficult to see how it affects all of our lives.
North Dakota’s Bakken boom, and potential bust, are definitely in the news. Journalists, documentary filmmakers, landowners, and community groups have given it a name and a face. Yet it’s still hard to understand until you put your boots on the ground and watch the oil being drilled, pumped, and trucked to rail stations, 24-7, as it’s moved out of the region.