Why Tom Corbett and Mike Nutter Held Hands Yesterday

Everybody loves fracking!

Click on this State Impact story and you’ll see a photo of Michael Nutter and Tom Corbett, awkwardly trying to cut a ribbon with the same pair of oversized scissors. Why? To celebrate the opening of a new rail yard that will facilitate the import of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale to the massive refinery that sits on the banks of the Schuylkill.

“Two of these trains, or more than 160,000 barrels of Bakken crude roll into the refinery every day. [Philadelphia Energy Solutions CEO Phil] Rinaldi said the new rail yard could even allow the refinery to handle up to three trainloads a day if the market cooperates.”

In other words–Philadelphia’s a huge player in the natural gas market already. And if Rinaldi has his way, its role is only going to increase. The Marcellus Shale reserves are in our backyard, and he wants to import them here as well. He also addressed concerns about a massive train explosion like the one that recently occurred in Quebec.

“There’s never an unattended train and these trains are always fully braked when they’re here in the yard. Not only are they fully braked, they’re also, chocked so they can’t move.”

For more on Philly’s potential natural gas boom, check out Patrick Kerkstra’s illuminating piece at Next City.