State challenges Wash. law restricting rail shipment of Bakken oil
By Neal A. Shipman
North Dakota has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation seeking to overturn a recently passed Washington State law, which goes into effect on July 28, 2019. The new law would prohibit oil from being unloaded at refineries within the state from rail cars that have a vapor pressure greater than 9 psi.
According to Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota Attorney General, who filed the petition on Thursday, July 18, Washington’s new standard would make it uneconomical for oil from the Bakken region in North Dakota and Montana to be unloaded at Washington state refineries.
North Dakota, which produces 1.4 million barrels of oil per day is the second largest producer of oil in the United States and ships about 10 percent of its oil by rail to refineries in the state of Washington.
“I understand that Washington wishes to protect its citizens and communities from the risk of derailments, particularly those involving hazardous materials. So does North Dakota, and so does the federal government. That is why the federal government has a detailed, rigorous, and comprehensive regulatory scheme governing precisely this concern,” stated Stenehjem.
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