The U.S. Department of Energy today released a study finding crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation isn’t more of a safety hazard for transport by train than other crude grades. The study, conducted by Sandia National Laboratories, comes after the passage of an unprecedented law in Washington state enacted last year by Governor Jay Inslee that effectively halted rail shipments of Bakken crude in the state. The state law specifically banned shipments of crude with vapor pressure of less than nine pounds per square inch.
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“The Department of Energy study regarding the safety of transporting Bakken crude shows promising results. However, it is unlikely that safety was the sole reason behind Washington’s law outlawing transport of Bakken crude. Gov. Inslee has made his position against the use of fossil fuels abundantly clear, even launching a campaign for the presidency rooted in such opposition. By fighting the construction of new energy infrastructure and the use of transport-by-rail, opponents of traditional fuels have largely ignored the role of natural gas and oil in meeting the vast majority of our nation’s energy needs. The Bakken provides more than 10% of the United States’ oil, and it is critical that such resources are able to safely and efficiently be transported to consumer markets – further bolstering the American economy and our energy security. GAIN supports the request from Sens. Cramer and Hoeven that the Department of Transportation preempt Washington’s law and protect interstate commerce.”