Thursday, May 28, 2015

HR 2379 Introduced – Volatile Crude

Earlier this month Rep. Lowey, (D,NY) introduced HR 2379, a bill that would prohibit the transportation of certain volatile crude oil by rail. The bill would establish an interim standard of 8.5 psi as the maximum Reid vapor pressure that would be allowed for crude oil transported by rail.

This bill is somewhat similar to HR 1679 that was introduced last month; though the maximum Reid vapor pressure is significantly lower. In fact, this is the average vapor pressure for Bakken crude oil reported by American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers in a study they conducted for PHMSA.

As I mentioned in my blog post on HR 1679, Reid vapor pressure is a totally inadequate measure of the volatility of crude oil. To make matters worse the test results for crude oil are so dependent on the sampling techniques that it is unlikely that two samples obtained by different people of the same material would be statistically similar.

Ms. Lowey is not a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee {though one of her co-sponsors, Rep. Garamendi (D,CA) is, but he is not on the appropriate sub-committee} so it is unlikely that she would have the political pull to get this bill considered in Committee. This is another crude oil transportation bill that is more about political grandstanding than transportation safety.

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