Senators Introduce Legislation Reducing Risk Of Major Crude Oil Train Fires

Citizens Acting for Rail Safety (3/25/15)

Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced legislation that greatly reduces the risk of a crude-by-rail disaster by requiring an immediate halt to hauling crude in all unjacketed DOT-111 rail tank cars including the latest CPC-1232 standard DOT-111’s that have also been involved in oil train explosions.

CARS – Citizens Acting for Rail Safety applauds the senators for introducing legislation that will put an immediate end to explosive oil tank car fires that have plagued this nation’s rails ever since crude oil began being shipped in large quantities.

“It is time we put the safety and well-being of our citizens ahead of corporate interests and do what we know in our hearts is the right thing to do. We need to proactively fix this problem before the next catastrophe claims more lives and causes irreparable harm to our environment.” CARS member Alan Stankevitz said.

Stankevitz went on to say “Oil prices have continued to stay low and the volume of oil pumped from the Bakken oil fields will decrease over the remainder of the year. This is the perfect opportunity to either retrofit or replace tank cars before production once again ramps up.”

“This legislation not only addresses the deficient tank cars that carry almost half of all oil pumped from the Bakken Oil field through the Upper Midwest, but also addresses the volatility of the oil that causes the mushroom-clouds of flame that we have been seeing time and time again.” CARS member Guy Wolf said.

In addition to addressing tank cars and oil volatility, this legislation demands an independent study be conducted on railroad liability insurance. “It is important that our government looks at all railroads to be certain they carry enough liability insurance to cover all rail incidents so tax payers are not left footing the bill when a major disaster occurs like in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where 47 people lost their lives.” CARS member Maureen Freedland stated.

“The past two months have been a nightmare for people living along the Mississippi River due to two major train explosions” said Guy Wolf, member of CARS, “This legislation will help reduce the risk of explosion in accidents, take unsafe tank cars off the tracks, and ensure first responders have the equipment they need. We can’t afford to wait for ten accidents per year, as estimated by the Department of Transportation.”

Guy continued, “We want families and communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa and across the country to feel safe knowing that every precaution is being taken to protect them from oil train disasters,” But this can’t happen unless citizens, communities, and businesses step-up to encourage their legislators to pass this legislation now! And we graciously thank Senator Baldwin, Cantwell, Feinstein, and Murray for being leaders in this effort. Safety is not a partisan issue; safety should be our first priority. Safety First!”

For further Information Contact:

Ralph Knudson/ (608) 344-1688/ email: [email protected]

Guy Wolf | phone: (608) 788-7293 | email: [email protected]

Alan Stankevitz | phone: (224) 422-0033 | email: [email protected]

Email: [email protected]

CARS website:

Facebook: CARS – La Crosse (Citizens Acting for Rail Safety)

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About Citizens Acting for Rail Safety (CARS) – La Crosse is a local community citizen group committed to examine and address issues related to rail safety and traffic throughout the region. It is concerned about maintaining the quality of life and welfare of the public, protecting the environment, and preserving the beauty and unique culture of the City of La Crosse and surrounding area.

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