Whether the explosion's origins lie in criminal activity or not, the train crash follows a string of oil-related disasters this year, indicating how risky oil transport is.
"From start to finish, these tar sands are a terrible idea."
In the wetlands of northern Alberta, Canada, outside the town of Zama City, everything is stained with the thick, pungent blackness of oil.
Students and concerned citizens from a variety of organizations held a protest at a conference of the Institute for Clean and Secure Energy. The institute promotes use of tar sands, oil shale and coal.
A major explosion occurred on April 27 at the Marathon Detroit Refinery in Detroit, sending a thick plume of black smoke into the sky above and pollution into the air.
April 1 was no joke in Lansing, Michigan, when equipment at a power plant malfunctioned and caused 300 gallons of oil to leak into the Grand River.
An EPA inspection uncovered numerous air quality and job safety and health violations that ExxonMobil did not report at the nation's second largest oil refinery.
How bad is the oil refining industry's pollution and worker safety problem? Well, let's put it this way: It virtually ruined an industry-backed Thanksgiving Day parade.
In Canada, thousands of protesters flooded the lawn of the British Columbia Legislature building in Victoria for a "Defend Our Coast" demonstration.
The methods are controversial enough. But activists have pointed out that oil and gas drilling have a nasty side effect.