North Dakota Senator Weighs Bill to Fast-Track Rail-Car Safety Standards

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) speaks during a news conference July 26, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans held a news conference to discuss the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act 2012. 
National Journal
Jan. 15, 2014, 7:30 a.m.

North Dakota Re­pub­lic­an Sen. John Ho­even signaled Wed­nes­day that he is weigh­ing le­gis­la­tion to fast-track fed­er­al reg­u­la­tions tight­en­ing safety stand­ards for rail-car con­struc­tion.

“The fed­er­al agen­cies work­ing on this is­sue need to de­vote the ne­ces­sary re­sources to get it done in a timely way,” Ho­even said in a state­ment, adding, “We are eval­u­at­ing le­gis­la­tion to fur­ther ad­vance the timeline, as well.”

The oil-patch sen­at­or’s com­ments came on the heels of an an­nounce­ment by the Trans­port­a­tion De­part­ment Tues­day that it is does not plan to fi­nal­ize the rule­mak­ing un­til 2015.

Ho­even in­dic­ated, however, that he plans to keep push­ing for an earli­er re­lease date.

“This week, we will meet with DOT Sec­ret­ary An­thony Foxx and in­dustry lead­ers to try to de­term­ine what and when suf­fi­cient guid­ance will be avail­able pri­or to the fi­nal­ized rule so that in­dustry can be­gin to trans­ition as soon as pos­sible,” he said.

The sen­at­or also said he plans to meet with Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Budget Dir­ect­or Sylvia Bur­well to dis­cuss wheth­er in­form­a­tion about the reg­u­la­tion can be made pub­licly avail­able be­fore its form­al re­lease.

A series of re­cent oil-by-rail ac­ci­dents, in­clud­ing the de­rail­ment and sub­sequent ex­plo­sion of a crude ship­ment earli­er this month in Cas­selton, N.D., have led a num­ber of law­makers, in­clud­ing Sens. Ho­even and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to call for an ex­ped­ited rule­mak­ing pro­cess to head off fu­ture dis­asters.

An an­nounce­ment is­sued by DOT’s Pipeline and Haz­ard­ous Ma­ter­i­als Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion that crude from North Dakota’s Bakken form­a­tion may be more volat­ile than oth­er types of crude oil has fur­ther ad­ded to the ur­gency of the ap­peals.

What We're Following See More »
CONCERNED ABOUT A PUBLIC SPECTACLE
Mueller Agrees to Testify, but Only in Private
2 days ago
THE LATEST
FEDERAL JUDGE WON'T BLOCK SUBPOENA OF BANK RECORDS
Trump Loses in Court Again
4 days ago
THE LATEST
SAYS HE CAN'T DO IT WHILE INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE
Trump Pulls the Plug on Infrastructure
4 days ago
THE LATEST
ADMINISTRATION IS 0-FOR-1 ON STONEWALLING THIS WEEK
Parties Go to Court Today Over Trump Banking Records
4 days ago
THE LATEST
ARRIVAL UNDER "EXTREME SECRECY"
Tillerson Talking to House Foreign Affairs
5 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was spotted entering a congressional office building on Tuesday morning for what a committee aide told The Daily Beast was a meeting with the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs committee and relevant staff about his time working in the Trump administration. ... Tillerson’s arrival at the Capitol was handled with extreme secrecy. No media advisories or press releases were sent out announcing his appearance. And he took a little noticed route into the building in order to avoid being seen by members of the media."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login