The first of several Minnesota roundtables on oil train safety has focused on keeping freight lines operating safely, efficiently and with as little disruption as more oil from neighboring North Dakota crosses the state.
A new Minnesota law aims to protect the state from hazards created by increasing amounts of oil passing through Minnesota by rail and pipeline. Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill Tuesday. The law requires railroad and oil pipeline companies operating in Minnesota to help pay for training and emergency preparedness programs.
Coconut is the hot commodity at the Eastside Co-Op in northeast Minneapolis. People cook with it, melt it over popcorn, and use it as a moisturizer, but the most unusual thing they do with it, is swish it. Fifteen minutes a day, five days a week.
A proposed $150,000 study would examine how Minnesota could leverage the North Dakota oil boom for its own benefit. The research would not focus “just on the effects (of the boom), but also how we can possibly benefit and position ourselves to take advantage of that,” said Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, sponsor of the bill outlining the report.
The proposed but controversial multibillion-dollar pipelines that would bring a flood of Canadian tar sands oil to the U.S. likely won’t hinder North Dakota’s soaring crude production, state and industry officials say.
A boom in using trains to ship oil to Minnesota could cause a shortage at the breakfast table. The Wall Street Journal reports that Canada is months behind in grain shipments, as railroads have been shipping more oil instead.
The ice fishing in northeast North Dakota is the best it’s been in two decades, but some anglers can’t make it because trains handling freight and crude from the state’s oil patch are displacing Amtrak passenger service.
In the new year, Minnesota drivers are paying more at the pumps than a year ago. The average price statewide is $3.24 a gallon. That compares to $3.07 this time last year.
North Dakota, the nation’s No. 2 oil producer behind Texas, recorded nearly 300 oil pipeline spills in less than two years, state documents show. None was reported to the public, officials said.
A Canadian pipeline company is holding meetings this week in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin on a proposed pipeline designed to move crude out of western North Dakota’s booming oil patch.
The worst may be over for drivers in the upper Midwest who have been grappling with the highest gasoline prices in the continental U.S. Analysts said one major Illinois refinery is back online and another big one in Indiana is on track to ramp up production again soon.
$6 gas coming?
In St Charles, Minn., a sand production company is trying to build a plant on 300 acres of land, and residents there are afraid it will ruin their way of life.
With the oil boom in North Dakota and demand for domestic oil growing, there’s a need for silica sand that’s used to drill for the oil.