RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — U.S. Sen Mark Warner said Monday that oil producers and rail companies need to step up their safety efforts in the wake of crude oil car that caught fire during the April 30 train derailment in downtown Lynchburg.
Warner said another derailment could make local officials wary of allowing large train shipments of crude oil to travel through their communities and lead to increased regulations, hurting the bottom lines of oil producers and rail companies.
"They need to have some skin in the game in helping to get this fixed," Warner said at a hearing he convened in Richmond.
Tank cars are generally owned by or leased to oil companies that ship the crude, not the railroads.
Federal investigators are still trying to determine what caused the 17-car derailment of a CSX train carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota. Three of the cars plunged into the James River and one caught fire, briefly causing parts of downtown to be evacuated.
An oil boom in North Dakota has increased dramatically the amount of Bakken crude traveling through Virginia's rail lines in recent years.