The Trump Administration Is Rolling Back Safety Regulations for Explosive Oil Trains
Do you or anyone you care about live close to tracks? Many of us do.
However, these regulations didn’t come out of thin air, said Barry Rabe, a public policy professor at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Former President Barack Obama’s administration began to revisit oil train safety after a series of train wrecks, spills, and accidents in 2013. The Lac-Mégantic rail disaster in Quebec, Canada, was the most notorious: 47 people died after a train transporting crude oil from the Bakken Formation in North Dakota derailed and exploded in downtown Lac-Mégantic.
Part of the issue there was the train’s brakes. But it seems that disaster wasn’t enough to scare the current administration into implementing better controls on these trains—even though a projected increase in U.S. oil production will likely force companies to rely on them even more, Rabe told Earther.