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
Clare Foran
Add to Briefcase
Clare Foran
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 »
SAYS TRUMP JUST ATTACKING REPUBLICANS
Former Top Aide to McConnell Says GOPers Should Abandon Trump
2 days ago
THE LATEST
“YOU CAN’T CHANGE HISTORY, BUT YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT”
Trump Defends Confederate Statues in Tweetstorm
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE
CEOS HAVE BEEN FLEEING FOR THE EXITS
Trump to End Business Councils
3 days ago
THE LATEST
FROM STATEMENT
McConnell: “No Good Neo-Nazis”
3 days ago
THE LATEST
NO FORMAL LEGISLATIVE EFFORT
CBC Members Call for Removal of Confederate Statues from Capitol
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are reviving calls to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol following the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia." Rep. Cedric Richmond, the group's chair, told ABC News that "we will never solve America's race problem if we continue to honor traitors who fought against the United States." And Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said, “Confederate memorabilia have no place in this country and especially not in the United States Capitol." But a CBC spokesperson said no formal legislative effort is afoot.

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