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Friday, March 24, 2017
Curtis Tate
McConnell

Republican-Friendly Audience To McConnell: ‘Do Your Job’

At one point, a frustrated audience member implored him: “Answer the question Mitch!” after he offered a curt answer to a woman asking about lost coal jobs in eastern Kentucky. As he began leaving the event, escorted by state and local law enforcement, a few in the crowd booed. Someone shouted “Do your job!”

February 22, 2017
Coal Miners

Retired Coal Miners Face Uncertain Future For Health-Care Benefits

Lawmakers have known about the potential insolvency of the miners’ health care plan since 2012. While the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. insures multi-employer pension plans like the one that covers retired coal miners, it does not protect their health-care benefits.

December 31, 2016

Analysis Forecasts Derailment Every Other Year If Oil Train Terminal Is Built

A proposal to build the largest oil train terminal in the Pacific Northwest could result in a derailment every two years and an oil spill from a derailment once every 12, according to a draft analysis by a Washington state agency.

November 30, 2015
First responders

Vermont Route Of Derailed Amtrak Train Exempt From Safety Mandate

190 miles of the route from yesterday’s train derailment will not be protected by a new system, set to go into effect by the end of the year, which can prevent trains from passing stop signals or approaching curves too fast.

October 6, 2015

Feds Warn Railroads To Comply With Oil Train Notification Requirement

There have been six major oil train derailments in North America this year.

July 24, 2015

Sen. Boxer, Nearing Retirement, ‘Focusing On The Big Ideas’

Even as the clock ticks down on Boxer’s 24-year Senate career — she announced in January she would not run for re-election next year — she’s not fading into the Senate’s ornate woodwork.

July 6, 2015
California, North Carolina, High-Speed Railway, Congress, Infrastructure, Trains

Amid Capitol Hill Opposition, High-Speed Rail Gets Second Wind

A high-speed railway could be coming to a state near you if Congressional Republicans don’t stop the plan dead in its tracks first.

April 23, 2015
Train, Railroad, Infrastructure, Congress, Transit, Transportaion, Politics, Economy, FTA

Transit Proposals In Congress Threaten Projects, Jobs, Critics Say

With transit ridership at an all-time high, advocates are pushing Congress to continue federal funding for long-term transportation projects.

April 10, 2015
Trains, Railroad Industry, Transportation, Infrastructure, Oil, Derailments, Oil-Tank, North America, Federal Railroad Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, U.S. Department of Transportation

Derailments Spur Push For Safer Railroad Oil-Tank Cars

Senate Democrats sponsor a bill to improve the design and safety of railroad oil-tank cars, which industry officials have flagged for years as in need for improvement.

March 31, 2015

In California, A ‘Golden’ Political Opportunity Carries Risks

At least four House members are considering jumping into the Senate race.

February 12, 2015
Immigrants, Donald Trump

U.S. Chamber Election Spending At Odds With Immigration Push

Want comprehensive immigration reform? Stop bankrolling the GOP.

October 20, 2014

Weak Safety Culture’ Faulted In Fatal Quebec Train Derailment, Fire

By Curtis Tate, McClatchy Washington Bureau CHICAGO — Canadian safety investigators on Tuesday blamed a “weak safety culture” and inadequate government oversight for a crude oil train derailment last year in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people. In its nearly 200-page report, issued more than 13 months after the deadly crash, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board […]

August 19, 2014

Silicon Valley Is Becoming Bigger Player In Washington

By Curtis Tate, McClatchy Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — California’s technology sector has booted up a bigger presence in politics in recent years, a shift for an industry that began on the outside but is fast becoming an inside player. Silicon Valley still has some catching up to do. Tech firms are still not as big […]

August 12, 2014

Congress OKs Highway Funding Fix At Last Minute, But Problem Isn’t Solved

By Curtis Tate, McClatchy Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — Hours before the federal government was set to reduce payments to states for road and bridge projects, Congress approved a temporary fix Thursday that would maintain funding through the middle of next year. But in some ways, the damage already had been done. States were bracing for […]

August 1, 2014

Federal Fines For Crude Oil Loaded On Trains Don’t Address Tank Car Safety

By  Curtis Tate, McClatchy Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — The Department of Transportation announced fines Tuesday for three oil companies for not properly classifying the crude oil it loaded into rail cars. However, even if the oil had been properly labeled as more dangerous, it could still have been loaded into the same rail cars with a […]

February 5, 2014