Derailment after derailment. They just keep happening.

Over the past several years, there have been numerous derailments in North America carrying crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. These accidents have sparked increased calls from citizens, the rail industry and lawmakers for the federal government to increase safety regulations.

To keep up with these incidents and new safety regulations, PublicSource provides a roundup of stories every Friday.

FRA accepting applications for safety implementation

The Federal Railroad Administration [FRA] is taking applications for $25 million grants to install Positive Train Control [PTC], a safety feature that automatically brakes the train if it senses the speed is too high. Many railroads were mandated to have PTC installed by the end of last year, but Congress extended the deadline to 2018 after most of them failed to do so.

Minnesota railroad officials denounce new safety bill

Minnesota state emergency officials have called for new safety measures, wanting to know more detailed information faster for trains carrying hazardous materials, like oil. They’ve told railroad administrators they’d be blindsided if a derailment occurred. The railroads responded by saying that derailment incidents are down and there’s “no reason” to double the number of safety inspectors.

Oil prices keep falling; drillers cut rigs fourth week in a row

According to Reuters, worldwide crude oil production exceeds demand by 1.5 million barrels a day. The surplus has driven prices down by 70 percent since mid-2014, and energy companies in the United States have subsequently cut production to levels unseen since 2009.

Reach Stephanie Roman at sroman@publicsource.org. Follow her on Twitter @ShogunSteph.

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