Senators urge quick action on oil train derailments after accidents in North Dakota, Canada

WASHINGTON – The chairmen of the Senate Energy and Transportation committees are calling on the Obama administration to take “prompt and decisive” action following a series of train derailments involving crude oil shipments, including a fiery explosion in North Dakota last month and an explosion that killed 47 people in Canada last year.

Transportation Chairman Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Energy Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon called the recent derailments “alarming” and said the administration should evaluate whether federal rules adequately address the risks of carrying crude oil by rail.

The letter came as members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation met Thursday with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Cynthia Quarterman, head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Lawmakers said they believed federal officials were moving quickly to respond.