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US states oppose Trump proposal to ship LNG by rail

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LNG Industry,

According to the latest Reuters report, a Trump administration proposal to ship LNG via rail has been opposed by Attorney’s general from 16 US states.

The opposition to the proposal is grounded in concerns regarding the potential for explosive fiery leaks and the risks these would pose to residents and emergency responders.

Top legal officers representing the states of Maryland, New York and California, among others, have filed their comments urging the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to withdraw the proposal. The officers have strongly advocated for safety studies to be undertaken and the development of an environmental impact statement (EIS) before the proposal is taken further.

The proposal by the Trump administration would benefit natural gas producers who are seeking options to increase exports, in light of the current market glut. Rail operators who have suffered from the recent decline in coal output to its lowest level since 1975 would also benefit.

According to Reuters, a PHMSA spokesman has said that safety is the agency’s top priority and it will evaluate all of the public comments and concerns raised in the rulemaking process.

A notable rebuttal to the concerns presented by the Attorney’s general has been made by the American Association of Railroads, an industry group in favour of using rail to ship LNG. Reuters has reported that the association is standing firm on evidence that railroads move more than 99.99% of hazardous materials to their destination without releases caused by an incident, and that government and industry have collaborated to raise rail tank car standards to the required safety levels.

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