Cantwell Prods Foxx On Oil Tank Car Regulations

By:  Roll Call - Tom Curry
Source: Roll Call

Democrats in Congress continue to voice their frustration that the Obama administration’s pending regulations on rail shipment of crude oil by rail is held up in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where proposed rules get a final cost-benefit assessment before being published.

“We are not moving fast enough. I look forward to seeing your rule but we are going to come out with tougher standards,” Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., told Transportation SecretaryAnthony Foxx at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday.

She said she’d introduce legislation to require a thicker shell for tank cars that carry oil and a quicker phase-out of existing tank cars than what the administration proposed last summer.

An average of 19 oil trains now cross her state every week on their way from North Dakota to the five refineries in Washington.

When a reporter asked Foxx about the opaque OIRA review process last month, he joked about the low profile of that agency within OMB. “There are probably ten of us in the world who know what you’re talking about,” Foxx said.