The GOP-controlled North Dakota House recently killed a proposed rail safety program.
The train safety program was removed from the Public Service Commission budget by the House Appropriations Committee.
“Would this guarantee any more safety? We would hope it would, but it wouldn’t. Accidents are gonna happen. It’s unfortunate,” Republican state Rep. Jeff Delzer said, noted the Bismarck Tribune.
Democrat state Rep. Kenton Onstad countered, "That’s like saying, ‘Why should we have highway patrolmen ‘cuz there’s still going to be accidents out on the highway.'"
Democrats wanted to fund the project with $972,000, which would have paid for two rail safety inspectors and a rail safety manager.
Republican state Rep. Roscoe Streyle cited 10 Federal Railroad Administration inspectors who work the rails in the entire state. Streyle also pointed to 30 safety personnel who are employed by the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railway, a for-profit railway company.
The Associated Press noted that Republican Governor Jack Dairymple of North Dakota and Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, a Republican, both supported the rail safety program.