• ITVI.USA
    15,496.720
    85.590
    0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.743
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,466.390
    90.520
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,496.720
    85.590
    0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.743
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,466.390
    90.520
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
American Shipper

Washington Notebook: Sen. Rockefeller presses for oil-by-rail safety regs

   John D. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, on Monday urged President Obama to speed up a rulemaking aimed at improving safety for transportation of crude oil by rail.
   The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing proposed rules by the Department of Transportation that would set stricter design standards for tank cars used to carry crude oil, in addition to requiring other precautions. Older DOT-approved tank cars tend to rupture in forceful accidents, and the light-sweet crude oil being harvested has proven much more volatile than expected, some researchers say, resulting in several explosive accidents in the past year.
   Rockefeller’s letter to Obama comes one year after a runaway train carrying crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken field derailed and caused an inferno that destroyed much of the small Canadian town of Lac-Mégantic and killed 47 people.
   “In the months since Lac-Mégantic, we have seen smaller, yet still alarming crude-by-rail incidents across the U.S., yet we have been slow to react to existing gaps in the safety standards of tank cars carrying hazardous materials through our communities. Mr. President, we cannot wait for another devastating derailment and explosion to happen here that will force us into action. The time to act is now,” Rockefeller wrote.  
   The West Virginia Democrat also recommended that the Obama administration review hazardous material regulations and oversight of crude oil transport. More investment in training and research is needed, he added, to improve response capability in the event of an accident.
   The DOT has taken several steps to improve safety of oil trains, but Rockefeller said they will not have the necessary impact without “significant” regulatory changes and greater oversight.
   DOT officials early this year were able to convince railroads to take a series of voluntary steps to improve the safety of train operations involved in crude transport. Regulators have also become more vigilant about checking that shippers properly test, classify and label the type of oil before loading.

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