Heitkamp heeds the wakeup call

We agree with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp that proposed new DOT rules on tank cars that haul crude oil announced Wednesday are a must for everybody’s sake.

According to the Associated Press, regulators are proposing to phase out older rail tank cars that carry crude, like the ones involved in horrific accidents in recent months across North America. The Department of Transportation said the older DOT-111 tank cars will have to be retrofitted or replaced.

Since the derailment in Casselton last December, the state’s congressional members, including Heitkamp, and state officials, too, have been among the leading advocates for commonsense reform in pipeline and rail safety.

“Today’s new rules are an important and needed step toward making sure families and communities across the country are safe,” said Heitkamp. “Crude oil is a valuable resource and a major economic engine for North Dakota, but the derailment in Casselton last December was another wakeup call that we must do a better job in how we transport it.”

Precisely.