The Senate is gearing up to address oil train safety. Washington Sen. Patty Murray has scheduled a hearing for next week.
Senator Murray plans to question federal and local officials about oil train safety during the hearing she set for Wednesday.
Murray chairs a panel that oversees transportation spending. Her announcement comes as three other Northwest senators are calling on her to support increased spending for oil train safety.
Washington Senator Maria Cantwell and Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with 13 others, are asking her to support a new fund proposed in President Obama’s 2015 budget.
The fund would provide resources for strengthening tank car standards, training emergency responders, increasing railroad inspections and studying the characteristics of the oil.
Major increases in crude by rail over the past year caught many regulators and emergency responders unprepared.
The senators hope the new fund can help close some of the safety gaps that may have contributed to a string of high profile explosions involving oil trains.
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