Senate Democrats seek tougher federal rules for oil trains

SEATTLE — Senate Democrats have proposed federal legislation to strengthen safety standards for trains that carry volatile shipments of crude oil.

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell on Wednesday said the measure would ban the use of older tank cars, regulates the volatility of crude oil carried on trains and ensures that rail infrastructure is properly maintained.

Cantwell cited four oil train derailments in the U.S. and Canada since February and said more derailments are likely as trains carry increasing amounts of crude oil through numerous communities across the country. A runaway oil train derailed in Quebec in 2013, killing 47 people.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin said accidents are increasing at an alarming rate and more must be done to reduce risks.

Sens. Patty Murray of Washington and Dianne Feinstein of California are co-sponsors.

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