Transportation

For decades Americans have worried about our dependence on foreign oil and gas.  By 2005 we were importing 60% of our energy, but in 2008 a new technology called horizontal hydrologic fracturing or “fracking” raised the promise of energy independence. 

U.S. crude production is up 50% and  imports have fallen 35%.  But getting oil from a massive shale deposit in North Dakota to refineries is raising serious concerns about public safety.

City of Lynchburg

Within hours of a rail crash in Lynchburg on April 30, inspectors for the state and federal governments and CSX were on the scene – trying to figure out why 17 cars derailed and one ruptured – producing flames, smoke and a significant oil spill. 

Getting official answers could take 18 months, but there are clues that suggest a cause for the accident and a future course of action to improve rail safety. 

Natural Resources Defense Council

In just over a year, North America has seen a dozen serious accidents involving trains that derailed while carrying flammable crude oil.  One of those accidents, in Lynchburg, caused a massive fire and oil spill.  In most cases, fire departments didn’t know what they were dealing with, since railroads have kept that information secret, but the federal government is now requiring them to inform states when trains of 35 cars or more, carrying  oil from North Dakota or Montana, are coming through. 

Cab Drivers Rally for More Ride Sharing Regulations

Jan 30, 2015
Creative Commons

In Richmond, hundreds of taxicab drivers from across the commonwealth are at the Capitol to rally for new regulations for app- based, ride hailing companies. 

Earlier this week, lawmakers struck a deal with Uber and Lyft to create new regulations for the ride-hailing companies.

"Under the old rules, basically the taxicab rules, the ability to operate Uber and Lyft was going to expire soon."

That's Republican Delegate Tim Hugo of Centreville.

"So they needed some sort of authority granting them the ability to operate in Virginia."

Norfolk Southern Jobs Move to Norfolk or Atlanta

Jan 28, 2015
Norfolk Southern Corporation

Norfolk Southern is closing its office building in downtown Roanoke, affecting 500 employees. 

Norfolk Southern Spokesman Robin Chapman says employees were informed Tuesday morning. .

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