Rail yard projects vital to the flow of crude from the shale oil boom are being waylaid in court by legal challenges that may slow the march to U.S. energy independence. Crude-oil handling facilities along rail lines in cities from Albany, New York, to Richmond, California, are mired in lawsuits by community and environmental groups claiming they were kept in the dark about the projects. They accuse local regulators of giving cursory review and rubber-stamping operating permits for proposals that pose threats to their safety and the environment. In Albany, pollution regulators who examine such projects for dirty-air potential are grappling with 19,000 comments from residents more worried about exploding trains. Citizen complaints about the move to rail as a new means of transporting oil initially focused on safety conditions of tanker cars en route from shipping point to destination as pipeline capacity failed to keep pace […]