By August 27, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

BNSF executive: Oil train safety can improve


August 27, 2014 | Columbian | As questions continue to swirl about the safety of transporting crude oil by rail, BNSF Railway’s top executive acknowledged Tuesday that the process could be safer, and said his company welcomes the regulatory push toward more modern tank cars.

In an interview with The Columbian, BNSF Executive Chairman Matthew Rose noted railroads like his are required by federal law to haul crude oil and other hazardous materials as part of their “common carrier” obligations. In the case of crude, phasing out older tank cars could improve safety, Rose said. Many have already been replaced, but plenty remain on U.S. tracks.

“We think that the risk associated with hauling crude oil can go down greatly, and that’s what we’re focused on,” he said. Rose and other BNSF officials stopped in Vancouver as part of a visit to the Northwest this week.

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