Congresswoman Matsui Statement on Obama Administration's Proposal to Improve the Safety of Oil Trains

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Washington, DC, July 23, 2014 | comments

Wednesday, July 23, 2014      

(202) 225-7163

Congresswoman Matsui Statement on Obama Administration’s Proposal to Improve the Safety of Oil Trains

Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) issued the following statement on the Obama Administration’s proposal to improve the safety of oil trains:

“The Obama Administration is doing the right thing by moving quickly to improve the safety of rail cars transporting Bakken crude oil through our communities.  With Valero proposing a rail terminal that would increase the number of trains carrying Bakken crude oil through Sacramento by an estimated 100 train cars a day, this is an issue that literally hits home.  

“The measures proposed today, including phasing out old rail cars for newer, retrofitted cars, reduced operating speeds, and requiring rail routing risk assessments, are important steps to increase safety and lessen the chances of derailment.  However I believe more can, and should be done, because public safety is our top priority.

“Earlier this month I joined several of my northern California colleagues in calling for the Department of Transportation to take a number of additional steps.  Specifically, I believe a rulemaking that requires the most volatile elements of Bakken crude to be stripped out prior to being loaded onto rail cars would be highly effective in increasing safety, and should be implemented.

“If the train derailments across the country and in Canada have shown us anything, it is that action needs to be taken to increase the safety standards for rail cars transporting Bakken crude oil.  Today’s proposal clearly demonstrates that the Administration understands this need for action, and is looking to move quickly.  It is my hope that in addition to the steps proposed today, the Department of Transportation continues to review other options that will ensure these rail cars are as safe as possible.”

On July 1, Congresswoman Matsui was joined by Congressmen Miller, Thompson and Garamendi in sending a letter to the Department of Transportation expressing strong concern over the increased shipments of crude oil by rail in their districts, and calling for action to increase safety.  The letter can be viewed here.


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