Letters to the Editor

Dislikes railroad’s plan for oil train safety

I read in The Bellingham Herald on Nov. 18 that the federal government is going to solve the oil train safety problem by requiring the purveyors of Bakken crude to remove volatiles from crude it ships by train. They are to do that at the wellhead, apparently.

I believe that means that they will be flaring off the gas and related material. I believe that flaring will put millions of tons of hydrocarbons and their by-products including carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I cannot think of a more polluting way of solving the problem for the railroad.

Unless there will be an army of inspectors at well sites throughout North Dakota, that solution will be unmonitored. The effect of a federally required burn-off will accelerate global warming and help to destroy the atmosphere we breathe. This business needs to be rethought no matter what the railroads ans their allies the oil companies desire or demand. The proposal, as it stands, is abominable. Please tell me your thoughts on this matter.

Martin Nickerson

Fairhaven

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