It’s been just days since President Joe Biden moved in to the White House. However, ever since his win in November, those in the railway industry have speculated about what changes the long-time Amtrak enthusiast will bring for the nation’s railroads and those who make their living on them.
One topic of interest is the “LNG by rail” rule that was finalized last year. To try to increase the export of liquefied natural gas and promote the development of energy infrastructure, the Trump administration approved the transport of this highly flammable gas – even through densely populated areas — throughout the country by rail.
The rule was a reversal of a long-held policy
That move by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is under the umbrella of the U.S. Transportation Department, was a reversal of a federal policy that had been in place for years. Prior to the rule change, LNG was transported via pipelines and sometimes by trucks.
The rule is just one of the energy regulation changes made by the previous administration that the President Biden’s team plans to review. Biden’s nominee to head the Transportation Department, Pete Buttigieg, was asked about the rule at his recent confirmation hearing. He said that he would be “taking a hard look at it.” Buttigieg also noted that it was important to consider the safety issues involved with transporting the gas by rail.
The potential dangers are not just to those who work on the railroads. People living in towns that the trains carrying LNG pass through have expressed their concerns. One woman who lives not far from tracks on one of the routes told NPR late last year, “That terrifies me.”
Railroad workers who suffer work-related injuries have rights under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). If you or a loved one has been injured, it’s wise to seek the help of an experienced FELA attorney to help ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you need.