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Biden suspends Trump-era authorization to ship natural gas by rail

The Biden administration is suspending a Trump-era policy that allowed for natural gas to be shipped by rail, expressing safety concerns. 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) on Friday halted the 2020 policy until it can publish a companion rule or until June 30, 2025, if a rule is not completed by that date.

The DOT said its action would avoid “potential risks to public health and safety or environmental consequences” and allow for more testing and the inclusion of possible mitigation measures.

The department’s new suspension rule particularly invoked the trail derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, that spilled hazardous vinyl chloride earlier this year. That train did not carry natural gas but drew renewed attention to the issue of rail safety at large.

The Trump administration issued its rule in 2020, determining bulk transport of liquified natural gas by rail was a “safe alternative.”

It said that a certain type of tank car has an “established track record of safety in transporting other cryogenic flammable materials.”

Source: The Hill

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