API will submit comments to the Department of Transportation today regarding proposed changes to the rules that govern the shipment of crude oil by rail, which API President and CEO Jack Gerard outlined during a conference call with reporters.
“Safety is a core value for America’s oil and natural gas industry, and our goal is always zero incidents,” said Gerard. “Reaching this goal of zero incidents requires a comprehensive approach. We define this as a three-legged stool that focuses on preventing accidents before they happen, mitigating any that occur, and enhancing emergency response.
“API has devoted the bulk of our efforts to the area where we have the most to offer – mitigation. This leg of the stool encompasses proper testing and classification as well as tank car design. As shippers, this is where the oil and natural gas industry can lead the way and make the greatest impact on safety enhancement.
“Our commitment to safety has led us to build tank cars since 2011 to voluntary standards that exceed current requirements, and we support additional upgrades to the tank car fleet that will yield meaningful safety benefits.
“While tank cars are an important part of the comprehensive approach to safety, there are limits to what tank car design can achieve. Getting to zero incidents will take an equal effort to prevent accidents and improve accident response.
“If all stakeholders continue to work from a strong foundation of science and data, I am confident that our joint efforts to better prevent, mitigate and respond to accidents will enhance the safety of shipping crude oil by rail.”
API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.