Thursday, October 02, 2014

Oil, rail industry want more time to upgrade tank cars; groups say 2 years not enough time

The oil and rail industry wants more time "to upgrade existing tank cars that transport highly volatile crude oil, a top oil industry official said Tuesday," Joan Lowy reports for The Associated Press. In July the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a two-year phase-out after more oil was spilled in the U.S. in 2013 than in the previous 37 years, and 47 people died from the derailment of a train in Quebec running from North Dakota to Maine.

"Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, told reporters that his group and the Association of American Railroads are jointly asking the Transportation Department for six months to 12 months for rail tank car manufacturers to gear up to overhaul tens of thousands of cars and another three years to retrofit older cars," Lowy writes. "The two industries, at odds until recently over how best to prevent oil train collisions and fires, also want three years after that to upgrade newer tank cars manufactured since 2011, known as '1232 cars,' he said." (McClatchy Newspapers graphic)

"The longer retrofit timeline reflects the need to allow tank-car makers time to expand their operations while still producing new tank cars, Gerard said," Lowy writes. "The government’s more aggressive timeline could hurt consumers by disrupting the production and transportation of goods including chemicals, gasoline, crude oil and ethanol, he said." (Read more)

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