North Dakota or bust
I already mentioned a Bureau of Labor Statistics report out on the impact of all the new oil production in North Dakota: Employment and wage changes in oil-producing counties in the Bakken Formation, 2007–2011
But now if you look at photo #1 in the PG's Photo of the Day spread for today April 30 (they don't have hard links for the photos unfortunately, so you may have to look for it) there is a neat photo of a long string of tanker cars moving along a Norfolk Southern line right through the middle of the city. The kid in me remains an observer of trains and I am not sure I am used to seeing so many tanker cars moving through the city in the past. Lots of coal and related products, along with routine freight and occasionally empty auto carriers, but not such an immense number of tankers.
I would speculate that whole string of cars is filled with oil moving directly from North Dakota to the Delta Airlines refinery outside of Philadelphia. This was a refinery that was going to close because it no longer could be profitably using imported oil as inputs that used to come via sea. The plant was re-engineered to use oil from the ever increasing production in North Dakota when purchased by Delta in a strange move for an airline. Problem is, not pipeline infrastructure to move oil from North Dakota to Philadelphia. Thus the refinery is now dependent on getting its oil via rail... and draw the line between North Dakota and Philadelphia what do you get? I wonder if Amtrak delays are getting worse? Who cares right? What's another few hours for an Amtrak trip in Pennsylvania west of Harrisburg.
Speaking of Delta... Paris direct resumes in a couple weeks (saving Ken the trouble of reminding us).