Pittsburgh Angst Over Propane Rail Tanker Cars Exploding

Something has some of the folks in the suburbs of Pittsburgh spooked (likely reckless anti-drilling lies). Yes, the number of rail cars hauling liquefied petroleum gas (i.e., propane) has increased in recent years. But such tanker trains have been around for decades. And yet, the mayor of Carnegie is now calling the tanker trains that pass through town “bombs on wheels.” Pretty strong language. A resident of nearby Green Tree is quoted as saying “someday” there will be an accident and “boom” his house might be gone.

How is that related to Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling? Certainly shale drilling in southwestern PA, northern WV and eastern OH produces plenty of natural gas liquids, one of which is propane. So yes, some of the increase in rail traffic hauling propane through Carnegie comes from northeast shale drilling. But honestly, such tanker cars have been around for years. When was the last time you heard of a propane tanker car exploding? Us either…

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