In a triumph for environmental organizations, the Biden administration discreetly revoked a proposal from the Trump administration that would have allowed firms to transport LNG through rail.
According to a report, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation officially canceled the authorization of LNG transport in rail tank cars in a federal filing before Labor Day weekend. This rule will stay in force until a permanent regulation is developed and adopted concerning LNG rail tank transportation, which might take several months.
The Trump administration confirmed the finalization of the regulation authorizing the rail shipping of LNG in June 2020. Elaine Chao, the previous Secretary of Transportation, said that additional safety measures had been implemented to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic incidents.
A consortium of states headed by Democrats and environmental organizations filed a lawsuit against PHMSA shortly after the regulation went into effect, challenging its constitutionality.
Reports show that Republican politicians, states, and the rail industry have expressed their approval of the 2020 rule and stated their dedication to the safety of freight rail transit.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, called the move last week another “salvo” in the energy war being waged by the Biden administration.
By effectively banning the transportation of LNG by rail, the Biden administration has fired another volley in their attack on American energy, Cruz said. The United States has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce carbon emissions, largely thanks to its natural gas production and utilization.
Since the North Dakota Pipeline Authority doesn’t ship its liquid cargo by train, the state won’t be affected, according to Director Justin Kringstad.
As volumes continue to climb, they constantly look for methods to transfer larger amounts of natural gas.
Kringstad speculated that the goal of the 2020 regulation was to provide access to locations where pipelines, the primary means of transporting LNG, aren’t yet in place.
A report shows that North Dakota’s Republican governor, Doug Burgum, is among many who disagree with the decision.
In a statement, Burgum stated that while North Dakota does not transit LNG by rail, it is apparent the Biden administration will not cease until all forms of fuel extraction and transportation are prohibited, placing our nation’s energy security in grave jeopardy.