After the explosive train derailment in Casselton, oil transportation is much on the minds of North Dakotans. Even before train derailments were in the public’s consciousness, highway traffic was a big concern.
By way of illustrating just how big an impact even a relatively small pipeline project can have, consider the Bakken Oil Express project which is a 16-inch crude oil pipeline between Killdeer and Dickinson just approved by the Public Service Commission.
The $14 million pipeline will have the maximum capacity of 165,000 barrels per day, the equivalent of eliminating up to 825 tanker trucks per day off ND Highway 22. Construction is expected to take 12-14 weeks.
“This pipeline provides a safe and efficient transportation method for significant volumes of crude oil and will eliminate hundreds of tanker trucks from one of the state’s busiest stretches of highway,” Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, who holds the siting portfolio, said. “This is an important addition to the infrastructure serving our state’s growing energy industry.”
The pipeline won’t diminish rail traffic, given that it moves oil to a rail terminal, but those folks who use Highway 22 have to be happy about the news that hundreds of trucks per day will soon be out of their way.
A lot of anti-oil people gripe about highway traffic and train derailments, but also oppose the build-out of pipeline infrastructure that can have a major impact on that traffic.
At this point, I firmly believe that those who are anti-pipeline are pro-truck crashes and train derailments.