Who needs a pipeline when you have a railroad?
While Republicans in Congress accuse President Barack Obama of killing American jobs by delaying a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, the Delaware City refinery, 100 miles northeast of Washington, never needed it.
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Oil by rail in Texas
Union Pacific, the primary freight railroad in Texas and owner of the line running along MoPac Boulevard, moves a significant amount of crude oil and liquefied petroleum natural gas through Texas. And that includes an unspecified amount in Central Texas.
According to a 2012 Union Pacific report, about 16 percent of the company’s freight revenue that year came from chemical shipments, and about a quarter of that was petroleum and liquefied petroleum gas. The company moved about a million carloads of chemicals in 2012, a 13 percent increase over 2011. The company expects that rate of growth to moderate this year.
In Texas, chemicals moved primarily to and from refineries and other plants in the Gulf of Mexico area, primarily on lines toward Dallas-Fort Worth, Texarkana and El Paso (and on to the West Coast), based on a “density map” in the 2012 report. But that map also shows lesser volumes of chemicals moving on the line from San Antonio through Austin and on to Taylor.