10 Senators call for crude oil vapor limits before oil train transport

Repost from the Albany Times-Union
[Editor: for a copy of the letter, see the announcement on Sen. Schumer’s website.  California Senators Feinstein and Boxer also signed in the letter.  – RS]

Schumer adds voice to call for crude oil safety boost

Federal officials urged to limit vapor pressure before oil transport
By Brian Nearing Published 7:38 pm, Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Tank cars head to the siding in the Port of Albany over the port entrance road Wednesday June 29, 2016 in Albany, N.Y.  (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Photo: SKIP DICKSTEIN
Tank cars head to the siding in the Port of Albany over the port entrance road Wednesday June 29, 2016 in Albany, N.Y. (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Photo: SKIP DICKSTEIN

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer was among nine Democratic senators on Wednesday who urged federal officials to use emergency powers to limit potential flammability of crude oil transported nationwide every day by massive tanker trains.

The group wrote U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx urging he reduce limits on acceptable crude oil vapor pressure, which indicates how easily oil can ignite during a train derailment.

Train derailments of tankers carrying crude oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota have caused several explosions in the U.S., including one this month in Oregon. “The oil companies are making tons of profits, they can afford this. Safety has to come first,” Schumer said during a call with reporters.

Also signing the letter to Foxx were Sens. Bernie Sanders, who is campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president; Patrick Leahy, also of Vermont; Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both of Washington state; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; Jeff Merkley and Ronald Wyden, both of Oregon; and Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both of California.  (continued)

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