Derailment after derailment. They just keep happening.

Since early February, 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.

Feds plan new standards for tracks

After finding that a broken rail caused the oil train accident in Mount Carbon, W.V., earlier this year, federal regulators said they’ll issue a safety advisory requesting railroads do more rail inspections and train inspectors more thoroughly. Regulators also announced plans to issue new rail standards, including slowing trains down and requiring rails be replaced if they pose a safety threat.

One judge will hear all Amtrak cases in Philly

More than 60 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed following the disastrous derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in May. A federal court panel announced Tuesday that all of those cases will be heard by U.S. District Judge Legrome D. Davis, which was decided by a panel that organizes lawsuits of a similar nature filed in courts across the country. In 2012, that panel also brought together the thousands of concussion-related lawsuits filed across the U.S. by former NFL players.

What will lifting the crude oil export ban mean for the U.S.?

Congress is now debating if it should lift a 1970s ban on crude oil exports. Oil producers want the ban lifted so they can sell more oil overseas. Refineries want to keep the ban in place because they can buy cheap crude oil, refine and sell it for a pretty penny elsewhere. Read this story for an easy-to-understand breakdown of the situation.

Canadian railroads cut fees for crude oil shipments

Feeling the backlash of a decrease in global oil prices, Canadian rail companies are cutting their rates for shipments of crude oil, according to Reuters.

Reach Natasha Khan at Follow her on Twitter @ShogunSteph.

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Natasha is PublicSource's creative director. She runs the organizations visuals team, edits and produces interactive graphics, data visualizations and web packages for PublicSource. She manages the website...