| SAN FRANCISCO, June 10
SAN FRANCISCO, June 10 California needs more
safety inspections, better emergency response capabilities, and
more information about how much oil is expected to be
transported by rail given the surge in crude oil shipments, a
government report released on Tuesday showed.
Imports of crude oil from North Dakota and Canada into
California are expected to rise from just 1 percent of total oil
imports in 2013 to 25 percent by 2016, according to state energy
officials. Much of that oil would travel through densely
populated parts of the state en route to coastal refineries.
The increase has raised concerns about the state's ability
to respond to derailments. Crude oil trains have been involved
in numerous accidents in the past year including the fiery
explosion that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec last
The multi-agency report from Governor Jerry Brown's
administration outlined a dozen recommendations, which include
better training and real-time shipment information for emergency
"I commend the Brown administration for recognizing that
more measures are needed to protect against the local hazards
posed by crude oil shipments by rail," said state Senator Fran
Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), who is currently pushing a bill that
would free up more money to address oil train derailments.
"I look forward to working with the administration to
implement the report's recommendations and provide other
safeguards to protect communities and natural resources."
Getting additional shipment data from rail companies could
prove difficult, however.
BNSF, which carries most of the crude through the
state, this week complied with a federal order to turn over
shipment information to the state's emergency responders.
But Kelly Huston, deputy director of the Governor's Office
of Emergency Services, said the data handed over was old and
"The information they gave us was for shipments from the
prior week. It doesn't seem in good faith" with the request, he
said, noting that the company demanded that the data remain
He said he would take up BNSF's response with the federal
Department of Transportation, which oversees U.S. railways,
later this week.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Diane Craft)