From an engineering, environmental and economic standpoint, the Aug. 21 editorial, “US lags in dealing with danger of oil tank cars” concerning oil tank cars, ignores the key problem.

In recent years, thousands of new tank cars have been built and put in service because environmental opposition has delayed construction of new pipelines. Pipeline tariffs are far lower than the cost of rail movement, and their safety record far better. The public is best served when the safest and most economical means is used to move oil from producing to refining centers and, in the process, get the tank cars off the rails (as opposed to building new cars, which will inevitably be punctured in any serious accident).

Thomas Gillette


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