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Re: “Flawed tests play down crude oil’s explosiveness” Letter to the Editor, The Globe and Mail, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014
The Editors
The Globe and Mail
444 Front St.
Toronto, Ontario
Dear Sir/Madam,
Your story today ("Flawed tests play down crude oil's explosiveness") highlights again the extent to which the rapid pace of development of "unconventional" fossil fuels in North America, like the Bakken Shale (and Alberta's' oil sands), has completely outstripped the capacity of transportation infrastructure to safely move of the resulting products, and of regulatory frameworks on both sides of the border to protect public safety and the environment. The current, effectively out of control, rate of development of these resources has to be moderated until the full extent of the safety, health, environmental and economic trade-offs involved are better understood, and appropriate regulatory regimes are put in place to protect the public interest. Additional disasters, like the one that occurred in Lac-Megantic, are otherwise almost inevitable.
Yours sincerely,
Mark S. Winfield, Ph.D.