One of the arguments made for building oil pipelines ASAP--without paying attention to those pesky environmental concerns--is that their construction will reduce the chance that an oil train might explode in a hapless town in Minnesota, while allowing grain and other goods to be shipped without delay.
Buried in one of Don Davis's Capitol Chatter columns, Winter energy outlook good, without vortex, Bluestem pauses as we read of this exchange between legislators and a Minnesota Department of Transportation official:
[Farmington state representative Pat] Garofalo and others in the Legislature, especially Republicans, are strong supporters of building more pipelines to move North Dakota and Canadian oil through Minnesota. He said pipelines are safer, less expensive and pollute less than moving oil over the rails.
[MNDOT official Dave] Christianson said that if every proposed pipeline is built in the next few years, the rapidly increasing amount of oil coming from the Bakken would require the same number of railcars as today.
We hate it when that happens.
Photo: The Casselton ND oil train derailment and fire. Pipelines leak and train derail, and neither means of transporting oil seems to be going away.
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