Crude Oil Spilled From Trains in 2013 Tops Total Since 1975, Analysis Shows

CULVER CITY, CA - APRIL 25: Oil rigs extract petroleum as the price of crude oil rises to nearly $120 per barrel, prompting oil companies to reopen numerous wells across the nation that were considered tapped out and unprofitable decades ago when oil sold for one-fifth the price or less, on April 25, 2008 in the Los Angeles area community of Culver City, California. Many of the old unprofitable wells, known as 'stripper wells', are located in urban areas where home owners are often outraged by the noise, smell, and possible environmental hazards associated with living so close to renewed oil drilling. Since homeowners usually do not own the mineral rights under their land, oil firms can drill at an angle to go under homes regardless of the desires of residents. Using expensive new technology and drilling techniques, California producers have reversed a long decline of about 5 percent annually with an increased crude flow of about 2 1/2 million barrels in 2007 for the first time in years.  (National Journal)

McClatchy Newspapers has come out with a new analysis that will likely fuel calls for tougher regulation of rail cars carrying crude oil.

The amount of oil spilled in rail incidents in 2013 was more than the total amount dumped in the previous four decades since the federal government started collecting the data, McClatchy reports.

More than 1.15 million gallons spilled last year in derailments that included major accidents in North Dakota and Alabama, the news service reports, citing Transportation Department data.

"By comparison, from 1975 to 2012, U.S. railroads spilled a combined 800,000 gallons of crude oil. The spike underscores new concerns about the safety of such shipments as rail has become the preferred mode for oil producers amid a North American energy boom," the story states.