The liquefied natural gas from just one rail tank car — without even considering a whole train — could be enough to destroy a city.
It would only take 22 tank cars to hold the equivalent energy of the Hiroshima bomb. A train of 110 tank cars filled with liquefied natural gas would have five times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb.
In the event of any loss of containment, liquefied natural gas rapidly expands by six hundred times its volume to become a highly flammable gas — and can turn into a “bomb train.”
Oregon has its own experience with fossil fuel train disasters, when an oil train derailed near Mosier in 2016. In that case, the city was saved from the fire by an unusual lack of wind that day. If that train had been carrying LNG, Mosier wouldn’t have had a chance.
This comes at a time when natural gas prices are falling dramatically, making us wonder if the Trump White House is trying to save a failing industry or just loves destruction for its own sake. With this crew, it’s impossible to tell.