WASHINGTON – A string of fiery train derailments across the country has triggered a high-stakes but behind-the-scenes campaign to shape how the government responds to calls for tighter safety rules.
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Billions of dollars are riding on how these rules are written.
Lobbyists from the railroads, tank car manufacturers and the oil, ethanol and chemical industries have met more than a dozen times since mid-May with officials at the White House and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Their message: Don't make us pay for increased safety — that's another industry's problem.
The pitches illustrate why government officials — who must show that safety benefits outweigh the economic costs of rules — often struggle for years only to produce watered-down regulations.