Trump rolls back Obama-era oil train rules

AP

Print Article

FILE- In this June 3, 2016, file image, from video provided by KGW-TV, smoke billows from a Union Pacific train that derailed near Mosier, Ore., in the scenic Columbia River Gorge. The Trump administration is angering environmental groups and residents of the Columbia River Gorge by rolling back a 2015 rule on oil train safety. (KGW-TV via AP, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Trump administration has angered environmental groups and residents of the Columbia River Gorge by rolling back a 2015 rule on oil train safety.

The Obama administration rule change required trains carrying highly explosive liquids to have electronically controlled pneumatic brakes installed by 2021 — systems intended to help prevent fiery oil train wrecks like the one that happened in the Oregon last year, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Thursday.

A Union Pacific train derailed in the small Columbia River town of Mosier in June 2016, spilling 42,000 gallons of crude oil and sparking a massive fire that burned for 14 hours.

The U.S. Department of Transportation under President Donald Trump now says, however, that the rule change would cost three times the benefit it would produce and is rolling it back, the station reported. Electronically controlled pneumatic brakes are supposed to be faster than the current industry standard — air-controlled brakes — because the simultaneously signal to the entire train.

Industry officials reacted positively to the news.

Chet Thompson, of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said in a statement that the rollback a “rational decision.”

Conservation groups and lawmakers in the Northwest said the rollback was frustrating, but unsurprising.

“We’re definitely frustrated that the Trump administration is weakening standards that are not strong enough to begin with,” said Dan Serres, conservation director with Columbia Riverkeeper. “We saw that with the Mosier derailment, potentially if there was a better braking system in place, we wouldn’t have seen so many cars come off the tracks.”

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, also slammed the move.

“Oil trains are rolling explosion hazards, and as we’ve seen all too many times–and all too recently in Mosier–it’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ oil train derailments will occur. Degrading oil train safety requirements is a huge step backward and one that puts our land, homes, and lives at risk,” he said in a statement.

Print Article

Read More

Basin Commission to discuss new goals

June 18, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The Flathead Basin Commission will meet Wednesday, June 20 for a strategic planning session during which members will discuss a new path for the commission in the wake of massive budget cuts and the ...

Comments

Read More

Kalispell man, 41, identified as Olney crash victim

June 18, 2018 at 9:31 am | Daily Inter Lake The Kalispell resident was driving southbound on U.S. 93 at around 6:30 a.m. when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled. Britt was alone in the vehicle. Montana Highway Patrol is still investiga...

Comments

Read More

Putting people first

June 18, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Sue Conners does not advertise. Asked about being named North Valley’s Planetree Caregiver of the Year, one of the hospital’s three annual awards, she deflects with a casual “Oh, yeah, yeah.” She rem...

Comments

Read More

Developers revamp U.S. 93 plan in Whitefish

June 18, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Developers aiming to create a neighborhood plan for 70 acres fronting U.S. 93 South in Whitefish have submitted a revamped application that is the focus of a Whitefish Planning Board public hearing o...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2018 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X