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API welcomes DOT action to promote safety of rail tank cars

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WASHINGTON, December 5, 2017 – API today welcomed action by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to rescind a requirement that tank cars be equipped with electronically-controlled pneumatic (ECP) braking systems. Given the lack of evidence in favor of ECP braking systems, API urged the agency to pursue other efforts that would improve rail safety.

“Safety is a core value throughout the entire natural gas and oil industry,” said API Midstream and Industry Operations Group Director Robin Rorick. “The safety impacts of ECP brakes are marginal at best and mandating implementation of these systems ignores concerns about their reliability, availability and intrinsic safety while various other braking technologies have been proven reliable and effective.”

Recently, ECP systems have been called into question by several government agencies including the GAO and National Academies of Sciences finding that DOT’s testing and analysis underlying the rule was lacking. In recent comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation related to the agency’s updated regulatory impact analysis, API detailed the problems with the ECP braking requirement and called on the agency to revoke the rule. These comments are available on the API website.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.