Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Gov. Dayton to N.D. Gov. Dalrymple: Keep those oil shipments safe

Dayton, in a letter to the North Dakota governor, said the oil coming from the Bakken oil fields should be made safer, to lessen the dangers as it travels by rail across Minnesota.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has sent a letter to North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, urging him to support efforts to make oil from the Bakken Fields safer to transport.

Some officials say that the Bakken crude may be more volatile than other crude oils, so there’s been a push to force the producers to condition the oil for safety. Conditioning could include reducing the light hydrocarbons in the oil, but would add to the cost of production.

North Dakota officials were holding a hearing today on the matter.

In the letter sent today, Dayton said:

Article continues after advertisement

“I recognize the challenge of regulating an industry that has so rapidly expanded in your state and your obligation to support your state’s thriving economy. But not only will conditioning improve the safety of Minnesota residents and those along rail lines, it may also open up additional markets for the export of Bakken oil.”

Dayton said the growing amount of North Dakota oil passing through Minnesota on by train makes it an important issue for Minnesotans:

“Currently, hundreds of rail cars on about seven trains, which carry more than 23 million gallons of crude oil, pass through Minnesota every day. These train movements have significant impacts on almost 3.5 million of the state’s 5 million residents who live in communities along Bakken oil train routes.”

Dayton diplomatically concludes with:

“I appreciate your leadership to ensure that the maximum feasible safety measures are in place for all Minnesota and North Dakota residents, as well as the millions of other U.S. citizens, who live on Bakken oil train routes.”