Mayor Murray calls for additional federal action on oil trains

Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement after the fiery derailment of an oil train along the Columbia River:

“The volume of oil transported by train across this country is skyrocketing, including the amount of oil coming through Seattle. Spilled crude and fiery explosions have resulted in human tragedies and environmental disasters across the continent and we must do more to prevent them.

“While our firefighters are ready to respond to a disaster in Seattle, we must reduce the risks of loss of life or environmental catastrophe. And that starts with better information for our first responders about oil shipments transported through our city.

“Today I renew my call on Congress to pass legislation championed by Senator Cantwell to reduce the volatility of crude oil before it is shipped and to halt the use of older rail cars hauling crude, which have a higher risk of rupturing during derailments like the one we saw today.

“While the US Department of Transportation took an important first step in issuing new rules on oil trains last year, today‚Äôs derailment shows that these rules have not gone far enough. Clearly more work needs to be done and I call on the Administration to move forward expeditiously.

“And we must continue to transition away from oil through efforts like Drive Clean Seattle, the most comprehensive plan in the nation to electrify our transportation sector. The best way to prevent oil train disasters is to end our dependence on fossil fuels.”