(Adds comments from senators, governor, analyst)
WASHINGTON, July 23 The U.S. Department of
Transportation on Wednesday proposed an overhaul of safety
standards for carrying crude oil and ethanol by rail after a
series of accidents in the past year.
The following statements are in reaction to the proposed
AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE JACK
"The government can and should take steps to ensure greater
safety without stalling the energy renaissance that is creating
good jobs, growing our economy and improving America's energy
security. As the regulatory process moves forward, we will
continue to work collaboratively with the rail industry,
regulators and local first responders toward our goal of zero
ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE
"This long-anticipated rulemaking from DOT provides a
much-needed pathway for enhancing the safe movement of flammable
liquids in the U.S."
REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN HOEVEN OF NORTH DAKOTA, WHO HAS PRESSED
REGULATORS TO MAKE TANK CARS SAFER:
"We appreciate that DOT has issued its proposal for rail
tank cars today that appears to be comprehensive and deals with
prevention, mitigation and response. We will continue to review
these proposed standards to ensure they are workable and will
keep our communities safe."
BRIGHAM MCCOWN, TRANSPORTATION SAFETY AND ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE
POLICY EXPERT, FORMER OFFICIAL AT U.S. PIPELINE AND HAZARDOUS
MATERIALS SAFETY ADMINISTRATION:
"The tough part for regulators here is slicing it down the
middle on these rules. Nobody will be perfectly happy with the
final rules, but I expect the DOT to stick to its guns on them."
"A two-year phase-out period for older DOT 111 railcars, in
my opinion, is just not realistic. It will likely take longer to
get those cars out of service, and that proposal seems
MATT KROGH, FORESTETHICS CAMPAIGNER:
"Today the Obama administration announced weak new standards
for high-hazard flammable trains that give the oil industry a
license to threaten the safety of millions of Americans and
leave communities and emergency responders holding the bag."
"The administration seems to have carefully calculated and
managed the inconvenience of these rules to the oil industry,
but they've severely underestimated the threat of these trains
to the American public."
DEMOCRATIC SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER OF NEW YORK:
"These desperately needed safety regulations will phase out
the aged and explosion-prone DOT-111 tanker cars that are
hauling endless streams of highly flammable crude oil through
communities across the country and in New York."
"These safety rules should be finalized, implemented, and
enforced as soon as possible."
NORTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR JACK DALRYMPLE, A REPUBLICAN:
"The proposed rules released today by the U.S. Department of
Transportation address several areas of rail safety that we
consider in need of improvements, including the need for safer
tank cars, reduced train speeds in populated areas and other
"Still, we need to further review the specifics of the
proposed rules to determine if they are workable and offer the
best opportunities for improved rail safety."
JASON SEIDL, ANALYST AT COWEN & CO:
"The issue you're going to have is, if you implemented these
rules tomorrow, you'd have slower train speeds, which means the
system would get clogged up, which means then you'd have more
hazardous material on the railroads sharing some of lines near
some of the passenger trains."
"So it's probably not a good idea to try to limit the speeds
on something when the speeds haven't proven to be any issues."
U.S. SENATOR HEIDI HEITKAMP, A NORTH DAKOTA DEMOCRAT:
"Today's new rules are an important and needed step toward
making sure families and communities across the country are
U.S. SENATOR JAY ROCKEFELLER, A WEST VIRGINIA DEMOCRAT AND
CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND
"I am pleased the Administration is moving forward with a
comprehensive rulemaking to improve the safety of crude oil and
other hazardous materials by rail."
(Additional reporting by Ros Krasny and Joshua Schneyer;
Compiled by Jim Loney; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Alden