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Ottawa May Spread Oil-by-Rail Insurance Burden, Mulls Special Fund

Posted September 25, 2014

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Randall Palmer – Globe & Mail)

The Canadian government is looking at extending the insurance burden for crude-by-rail disasters beyond just railways and is weighing the idea of a special fund similar to one once set up for maritime oil spills, a government official said.

The potential policy move comes over a year after a runaway oil train exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Que., leveling the heart of the town and killing 47 people. The cleanup and reconstruction bill, now being covered by governments, is expected to be at least $400-million.

The country’s Conservative government pledged last year to make railways carry more insurance to deal with such disasters, but is coming around to the idea that it is unrealistic for the industry to bear the entire cost, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly. “It’s not likely to be the railways alone,” he said. Read more here.