ND Regulators Pass Rule Making Bakken Crude by Rail Safer

For some time MDN has written and highlighted articles about Bakken Shale crude oil that gets to market largely on railroads. The short version of the story is this: Bakken crude contains a lot of NGLs (natural gas liquids), like ethane, butane, propane. The NGLs make the crude more ignitable and flammable if there’s an accident. And there’s always an accident–at some point in some place. A number of Bakken crude trains run through New York State and of course NY’s anti-drillers object (what don’t they object too?). We’ve heard lovely metaphors and analogies like “bombs on rails” and “death trains.” On Tuesday, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) met and passed a controversial measure to fix the problem. Starting April 1st, oil companies will have to strip out most of the NGLs before the oil is loaded onto railcars. Of course that won’t appease anti-drillers, but it will make communities through which the trains pass safer than they are now…

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