Rep. Mike Thompson statement on DOT’s newly announced crude by rail regulations

Press Release from the offices of U.S. Representative Mike Thompson

Rep. Mike Thompson statement on DOT’s newly announced crude by rail regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today issued the following statement on the Department of Transportation’s new proposed crude by rail regulations:

“These new regulations are a step in the right direction. They address concerns laid out in the letter I sent Secretary Foxx earlier this month, and will help make sure crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region is shipped in a safer manner. However, there is more that should be done. Public safety is priority number one, and that’s why we need to make sure our first responders have all the information they need to quickly and effectively address emergency situations.”

Many trains transporting crude oil from the Bakken Shale formation of North Dakota run through Thompson’s congressional district. The crude oil from this region is regarded as highly flammable.

Earlier this month, Thompson and House colleagues from Northern California sent a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx expressing strong concern over the increased shipments of crude oil by rail in their districts, and calling for action to increase safety.

The letter asked that the DOT phase out old rail cars for newer, safer retrofitted cars. The new DOT regulations seek to phase out older tank cars and implement tighter speed limits while enhancing safety standards for new and existing tank cars.

Additionally, in June Thompson passed legislation through the House that enhances rail and refinery security by requiring the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS I&A) to conduct an intelligence assessment of the security of domestic oil refineries and related rail infrastructure, and to make any recommendations it deems appropriate to protect surrounding communities or the infrastructure itself from potential harm.

Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.  He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.