More trains carrying crude oil to East Coast refineries mean a greater risk of accidents. Derailments in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are a signal to some that an accident could be disastrous.
Why is more crude oil moving through Pennsylvania?
North America is now the biggest producer of crude oil in the world, partly as a result of fracking in North Dakota and other Western states. In 2013, U.S. railroads carried more than 40 times what they carried in 2008. Without pipelines to move the oil, much of it has been pushed onto the rails. Refineries processing much of the crude from the Bakken formation in the West are in the Philadelphia area.