Steck to Feds: Stabilize volatile Bakken crude now

Times Union | January 20, 2015 | Post by Eric Anderson

Assemblyman Phil Steck on Friday called on federal regulators to require stabilization of volatile Bakken crude before it’s shipped by rail from North Dakota shale oil fields.

In a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Acting Administrator Timothy P. Butters, Steck cited the need for immediate action to make crude safer to ship.

“Currently, Bakken crude oil is simply ‘conditioned,’ which removes only a fraction of the volatile (natural gas liquids) that make crude so flammable,” he wrote. “Conditioning crude oil is not enough — the dangers of transporting highly flammable, volatile crude across the country are too great.

“Oil producers in Texas have already been efficiently stabilizing crude oil and North Dakota’s oil producers should follow suit,” he wrote.

Steck said last week’s West Virginia derailment of an oil train carrying Bakken crude — had it happened in a densely populated area, “would have even more catastrophic results.”

The Port of Albany has become a major transshipment point for Bakken crude as it’s transferred from oil trains to barges, ships or other trains to complete its journey to refineries along the East Coast.

He called on regulators to “immediately implement safety precautions to protect communities from the risk of volatile crude oil transportation.”

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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.