Renewed push for oil transport bills as oil trains spike

SEATTLE (AP) — Lawmakers are pushing competing bills to improve oil train safety, as a spike in volatile shipments of crude oil by rail poses new potential risks in Washington.

A Republican-backed oil transportation bill being heard Thursday shares some similarities with legislation requested by Gov. Jay Inslee and sponsored by Democrats.

But key differences include more disclosure of oil movement and possible requirements for tug escorts for oil barges in the governor's proposal. Those issues will likely be sticking points again this year.

Lawmakers failed to pass legislation aimed at addressing oil train safety last year, with Republicans and Democrats blaming each other for the stall.

Legislators, however, approved a study last year, and a draft report released last month said the spike in oil transport will require increased safety measures and improved oil spill response and prevention.