Larsen praises oil company for modernizing crude rail cars

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) is praising a Texas-based oil company for announcing that it will replace its old crude oil rail cars this year.

Larsen said the announcement should spur the Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue new regulations for the industry of shipping crude oil by rail.

“I welcome Tesoro’s decision to proactively upgrade its railcar fleet to meet modern safety standards, joining other companies that have made similar commitments,” Larsen said in a statement. “I will continue pressing for better rail safety at all the refineries through Northwest Washington.

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Lawmakers and the Obama administration have both promised to crack down on crude oil rail shipments in the wake of the December derailment in Casselton, which spilled 400,000 gallons of crude oil. The North Dakota accident followed an earlier 2013 derailment in Lac-Mégantic in Quebec province, Canada, last July that killed 42 people and incinerated 30 buildings.

Larsen said improvements at individual companies like Tesoro are just a start toward the changes that are needed.
 
“While it is good to see private operators taking action, the federal government needs to catch up by quickly issuing new standards for railcars carrying crude oil," he said. "We should not risk future accidents when there are steps we can take right now to make our communities safer.” 

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