Friday, 29 Sep 2023

Biden denies bomb train permit to ship liquid gas through populated areas

Biden denies bomb train permit to ship liquid gas through populated areas


Biden denies bomb train permit to ship liquid gas through populated areas

The Biden administration's transportation department has denied a special permit request from gas giant New Fortress Energy that was needed to run up to 200 liquified natural gas "bomb train" cars daily from north-east Pennsylvania to a New Jersey shipping terminal.

The proposal's opponents warned before the recent East Palestine train wreck that a derailment would likely result in a catastrophe, and those fears were amplified in the Ohio train disaster's wake.

The plan was significant because it asked for approval to move an "unprecedented" amount of liquified natural gas by rail, and seemed to be designed to circumvent more heavily regulated pipeline transportation, said Kim Ong, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which worked to derail the plan.

The Department of Transportation did not give a reason for the denial in federal registry documents, and opponents to the proposal were "surprised" but pleased by the development, Ong added.

"It is hard to say why they decided to do what they did, but hopefully the East Palestine disaster would make them look more closely at the transport of all hazardous and explosive materials across the country," Ong said.

But she noted the New Fortress plan is still possible as long as Biden's transit department keeps in place a Trump-era rule allowing liquified natural gas, or LNG, to be transported by rail.

New Fortress did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

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