US miscalculated benefits of oil train brakes

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration miscalculated potential damages from train derailments when it canceled an Obama-era rule requiring the installation of more advanced brakes by railroads hauling explosive fuels.

A government analysis used to justify the cancellation omitted up to $117 million in potential reduced damages from using electronic brakes. The error could stoke criticism from supporters of the rule.

Department of Transportation officials acknowledged the error after it was discovered by The Associated Press during a review of federal documents. Still, they said it was unintentional and would not have made a difference.

The brake rule was adopted under President Barack Obama following a string of fiery derailments of trains hauling oil and ethanol.

The railroad and oil industries have pushed to cancel the rule citing its high costs.