Tell the Feds NO to LNG by rail!
Comment by Dec. 23 to stop this runaway train!
The Trump Administration has ordered the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to put Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) on our nation’s railways – and to do it now. That means a fast-tracked review of the proposal to ship dangerous LNG by rail; a rushed approval of the use of 50-year old rail cars (DOT-113 C120Ws) without the needed safety testing; and a lack of regulations to protect the health and safety of the thousands of communities that will be in the path of these 100-rail car “unit trains” and the fires and explosions an LNG tank car derailment or accident can cause. It also means more fracking to meet the forced market; more public health, environmental, and climate destruction; and more good money thrown after bad for the last gasps of this unsustainable fossil fuel.
Please write PHMSA to tell them to abandon this perilous proposal to throw safety out the window to push LNG onto the railroad tracks that course through our cities, along so many rivers, and line so many backyards and industrial sites. We cannot sacrifice the public and our environment to accommodate industry.
Send your comment directly to: PHMSA web portal or you can Fax to: 1-202-493-2251. You must use Subject line: PHMSA-2018-0025 (HM-264)
Read the PHMSA proposed rulemaking here: https://bit.ly/2DaTSix
- What’s the rush? The fast-tracking of this rule will push LNG onto the tracks in tank cars that have had no LNG-specific testing. I consider this completely unacceptable.
- No new safety regulations accompany the rulemaking, such as limiting the length, weight, or speed of trains, automatic braking, special monitoring, or restricting passage through populated areas. I think this is reckless and exposes people and the environment to a greater potential for harm.
- PHMSA admits that LNG is highly dangerous and, if it escapes, can gravely harm people. People’s skin and eyes can be severely injured by the extremely cold (-260F) liquid during release. Methane as vapor can asphyxiate. An extremely hot flash fire can occur if the vapor cloud is ignited. How can PHMSA condone this danger?
- LNG volume expands by 600 times if released to the air, capable of a far-reaching catastrophe, including a fire too hot to extinguish, even an explosion as powerful as a thermobaric bomb. This can have an enormous zone of impact of many miles. Don’t play with our lives!
- PHMSA claims there is not a large number of LNG transport accidents but that ignores the fact there hasn’t been any appreciable volume of LNG movement by road or rail. This is similar to agency rationale for crude by rail that began without safe rail cars and ended in deadly accidents as volume and frequency of trains increased. I can’t accept a new kind of “bomb train”!
- The Association of American Railroads petitioned PHMSA for this rulemaking based on a claim of a need for LNG movement by rail to serve a growing market. In fact, there is a worldwide glut of LNG: “Exceptionally weak demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG), coupled with a surge in U.S. exports, led to an unprecedented bottleneck in global shipping flows in late October, according to S&P Global Platts”. (https://www.freightwaves.com/news/a-massive-floating-lng-stockpile-has-just-been-unloaded?p=236598)
- PHMSA claims LNG by rail will pose no significant environmental impact. But they have no studies or data to support this conclusion. I oppose this rulemaking altogether but I certainly insist that a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act be completed if it moves any further.
- More LNG will be developed to feed trains. That means more fracking, more LNG processing plants, more terminals, more transport on land and sea. Fracking is having devastating impacts on human health, the environment, our water supplies, and is releasing methane to the atmosphere, fueling climate change. I support truly clean, renewable, and economically sustaining energy sources for the protection of public health and the planet, not LNG.
Thank you for sending a comment to PHMSA, we must stop this runaway disaster train!