Cantwell Calls For Stricter Oil Train Standards

Jun 9, 2016

Washington U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell is pushing for stricter rules on oil trains after last week's fiery derailment in Mosier, Oregon.

Cantwell grilled U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on the issue during a Senate Committee hearing this week.

She took issue with one thing in particular: the government regulates how volatile, or explosive, oil is when it's sent in pipelines...

But not for train shipments.

“We can't have this product shipping through tunnels in Seattle with our light-rail transportation system,” said Cantwell. “We can't have it right next to hotels in Vancouver, we can't have it going through neighborhoods of thousands of people in Spokane. We can't have a Lac-Megantic in our state."

Lac-Megantic  is a reference to the 2013 oil train spill in Quebec  that killed 42 people.

Cantwell says the Department of Transportation should create a rule on oil volatility in the short term, and study it from there.

Currently, officials don't plan to start the rule making process until 2017 at the earliest.

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