Powerful Dem Presses for Safer Crude-by-Rail Shipments

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is stepping up pressure on federal regulators to toughen safety standards for rail cars carrying crude oil following a string of accidents, Reuters reports.

Schumer, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership team, is calling on the Transportation Department to complete a rule that will force carriers to phase out or retrofit their rail cars, the news service reports.

"There are serious safety concerns about the rail cars that carry this oil and the risk they pose to the lives of New Yorkers, to our infrastructure, and our environment," he said Monday.

A recent derailment and explosion in North Dakota, where oil production is booming, is the latest of several accidents involving trains carrying crude oil.

National Journal's Clare Foran has more on that here.