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Newsmaker: Leave oil tanker safety to regulators, former PHMSA chief says

Even as crude oil train derailments stay in the headlines, lawmakers eager to push bills to boost crude-by-rail safety ought to step back and let federal agencies do their job, a former administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration says.

“I think the federal agencies that are responsible for hazardous material safety have about all the authority and tools they need to have,” Brigham McCown told EnergyGuardian in an interview.

“They would be more effective, frankly, if Congress would leave them alone and allow them to be the regulators. They’re the experts, not the Hill," he added.


Mexico: Death toll now 20 in gasoline tanker truck explosion

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities say the number of dead from a recent gasoline truck blast has reached 20 after two more people succumbed to injuries sustained in the explosion.

Prosecutors in the southern Gulf coast state of Tabasco say a 24-year-old woman and a 29-year old man are the latest victims.


NTSB: Oil train tank cars need urgent upgrades

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Fuel-hauling tank cars need retrofits to prevent more explosive train wrecks — and the public can't wait another decade for the improvements as has been suggested by industry, U.S. safety officials said.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a series of recommendations Monday after a spate of fiery accidents revealed shortcomings in voluntary industry standards for cars hauling oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids.


NTSB seeks 'aggressive schedule' to improve oil-by-rail safety


The National Transportation Safety Board is asking the rail industry to move more quickly - on an "aggressive schedule" - to come up with safer oil tankers and find other ways to make oil-by-rail less dangerous, Reuters reports.


Death toll rises to 18 in gas tanker explosion

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The death toll in a gasoline truck explosion in southern Mexico has risen to 18 with the death of a 38-year-old woman.

The explosion occurred in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco on March 26 when villagers tried to take gasoline from a tanker truck that had crashed.


Pemex begins to restore production at fire-damaged platform

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's state-run oil company continues to search for three missing workers from a platform fireball that killed four others, while beginning to restore production at the damaged Gulf of Mexico facility, officials said Sunday.

Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, will start processing 170,000 barrels of crude by Monday and expects to restore 80 percent of the pre-fire production in the coming week, said Gustavo Hernandez, general director of exploration and production.


Death toll in Mexico gasoline tanker blast rises to 17

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The death toll from a March 26 gasoline tanker truck explosion in southern Mexico has risen to 17 after more victims died of burn injuries at hospitals.

The explosion occurred in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco when villagers tried to take gasoline from a tanker truck that had crashed.


Mexico's Pemex: 3 workers still missing after platform blaze

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Three workers are missing following the huge blaze on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico that killed four workers and burned for hours, Mexico's state oil company said Thursday.

Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said it became aware of the missing workers when it recounted personnel after Wednesday's fire on the Abkatun-A Permanente shallow-water platform in the Campeche Sound.


Quebec oil train disaster settlement for victims' families

TORONTO (AP) — The law firm representing the families of 47 people killed in the 2013 Quebec train crash said it has received a financial proposal that would see them split US$61 million in compensation.

Chicago-based law firm Meyers & Flowers said it will be closely reviewing the settlement to determine whether the defendants are paying sufficient funds.


Mexico says oil spill avoided after deadly offshore blaze

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A huge blaze twisted and blackened an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, but the state-run Pemex oil company said it managed to avert any significant oil spill.

At least four workers died and two suffered life-threatening injuries in an explosion that engulfed the platform in flames Wednesday, forcing 300 people to abandon the facility.


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