Not all crude oil is the same

Published: Sunday, Jun. 8, 2014 - 4:06 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 9, 2014 - 5:20 pm

Re "Crude oil rail transports to run through Sacramento region" (Our Region, June 7): I must dispute Valero spokesman Chris Howe's assertion, "There is nothing inherently more dangerous about one crude than another. They are all flammable."

I tried to capture how Russell Gold, energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal, recently described the problem associated with the Bakken crude in my January news post on the topic: "Crude oil may be flammable, but until recently was not thought to be explosive."

Howe does a disservice to readers by not being more forthright on the problem of exploding rail tanker cars. Folks in Lynchburg, Va. were spared what could have been devastation and massive loss of life when a 15-tanker car derailment tipped toward the James River on April 30, not the city. However, the river suffered a severe oil spill.

Energy companies must be more honest if they want to be taken seriously.

-- Irvin Dawid, Burlingame

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