The Biden team has put a hold on a policy from the Trump period that permitted natural gas to be transported via train, citing concerns over safety.
On Friday, the Department of Transportation (DOT) paused the 2020 regulation and stated it will remain so until they either introduce a related rule or until June 30, 2025, should no such rule be established by then.
DOT emphasized their decision aims to prevent “possible threats to public well-being, environmental repercussions” and will enable further evaluations and potential safety measures to be implemented.
Highlighting the recent train mishap in East Palestine, Ohio, which resulted in the spillage of the hazardous substance vinyl chloride, the department stressed on broader rail safety issues. It should be noted that this specific train wasn’t transporting natural gas.
In 2020, the Trump administration had introduced this regulation, asserting that moving liquefied natural gas in large quantities via rail was a “secure option.”
The previous administration also pointed out that a specific type of tanker has a proven safety history when it comes to transporting similar volatile cryogenic substances.