A fire that consumed a train carrying crude oil through North Dakota forced the evacuation of a nearby town, though no injuries have been reported. The incident marked the fourth in 2013 within North America that involved the transport of hazardous crude oil. The federal government, at the behest of private railroads, is working to reform safety standards for crude-carrying rail cars.
In other news, gas prices continue to climb in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, reaching an average of $3.681 per gallon by Monday. An LA transplant laments his increased use of the automobile despite readily available transit alternatives, but promises to change his tune in the new year. Finally, construction jobs in both counties are also increasing in number.