Instead of transporting 380,000 barrels per day of crude oil via railroad tank cars to the Port of Vancouver, now is the time for the public and elected officials to publicly ask the pipeline companies to build a major oil pipeline to carry this oil.
We should ask companies like Enbridge, Chevron, Shell, or Devon Energy to build a new oil pipeline from North Dakota to Midwest refineries, and from North Dakota to the Puget Sound refineries. This pipeline should run along Interstate 90 and Interstate 94, a major, already-existing, east-west transportation corridor.
Moving crude oil via railroad tank car involves diesel-powered locomotives, whereas smooth, clean, quiet underground electric pumps move oil in pipelines. Building this silent underground pipeline would also eliminate the possibility of derailed oil tank cars spilling oil into our treasured Columbia River.
Recent regulatory changes have made oil pipeline transportation even safer. Now that North Dakota is producing about 1 million barrels per day of oil, the time is now for Washington state officials and the U.S. Secretary of Energy to ask the pipeline companies to spend their own private-sector dollars to serve the public.
Ron Rasmussen Jr.