BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota’s congressional delegation is getting into the fight against Washington state’s restrictions on crude oil transport by rail.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill that requires the vapor pressure of the oil in railcars to be at 9 psi. Currently, North Dakota regulators set the level at 13.7 psi.
State oil leaders criticized the legislation, saying it has no scientific backing and the move would significantly hurt the state’s oil industry.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation clearly has the primary authority over crude oil that is shipped across state lines, which is why we’ve reached out to Secretary Chao and requested her assistance,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “Further, Washington State’s law will limit our energy industry’s ability to access safe and reliable transportation for this vital commodity, impacting good-paying jobs in our state and undermining our nation’s energy security. At the same time, instead of getting light, sweet Bakken crude, refineries in the Pacific Northwest will have to rely on foreign crude shipped by barge, which is less environmentally sound. That’s why we will continue working to overturn this law and resolve this matter as soon as possible.”