Oil Pipelines Are Good For The Environment

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Pipeline projects, such as the controversial Keystone XL project that Democrats have been roadblocking for some time now, are often held up due to environmental concerns. But that opposition has unintended consequences. In the absence of pipeline capacity, though, oil producers turn to other less safe methods of transporting their oil like trucks and trains.

That’s not only bad because trucks and trains crash more often than pipelines leak, but also because all those additional trucks and trains are bad for the wildlife. So says a member of a new wildlife partnership created in North Dakota between state, oil industry and conservation groups.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Too few pipelines moving crude to market is the biggest threat to wildlife in western North Dakota’s booming oil patch at present, an industry official said Tuesday.

About half of North Dakota’s record oil production is being shipped by rail and truck because of lack of pipeline infrastructure. Obtaining easements from landowners, acquiring permits and building a sufficient pipeline network “is a huge issue to the state of North Dakota and a huge issue to wildlife,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

If we want to lower the impact of the oil boom on western ND land and wildlife, if we want to lower the amount of truck traffic on the roads and lower the risk of train derailments, let’s clear the regulatory path to build more pipelines.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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