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West Virginia train derailment

The wreckage of an oil train derailment in Mount Carbon, West Virginia, still smolders 48 hours later in this Feb. 18 photo. The incident, in which nineteen cars carrying crude from the Bakken were engulfed in flames, is just one of several such occurrences in the last two years.

BILLINGS (AP) — U.S. senators from six states want the government to charge companies a fee to ship oil and other flammable liquids in older railroad tank cars involved in numerous fiery explosions.

Sen. Ron Wyden told The Associated Press Thursday that the fee would be paired with tax breaks for upgrading tank cars.

The Oregon Democrat says the proposal offers a market-based incentive for companies to improve safety. It's also backed by senators from California, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The fee starts at $175 and increases to $1,400 per car by 2018. It would raise an estimated $600 million to train first responders, clean up spills and relocate rail tracks around populated areas.

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Federal officials on Friday will release new rules calling for up to 155,000 flammable liquid tank cars to be retrofitted or replaced.

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