Lewis Diuguid

Train derailment ignites argument over Keystone pipeline

Train derailments with tank cars loaded with crude oil or chemicals are not only dangerous, but they feed the push for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The latest was the derailment of a train that sent about 15 tanker cars carrying crude oil into the James River in Lynchburg, Va., setting off a huge fire. The downtown area was evacuated.

No one was injured. Advocates for the Keystone pipeline say that once constructed, it could transport crude oil much more efficiently and safely from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Obama administration has balked at building the pipeline, even though Republicans charge that it would create jobs in this down economy and help make the U.S. more energy independent. Pipeline opponents aren’t convinced that it would provide safe transportion for crude oil, fearing that a spill would damage the environment.