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Industry Says Bakken Oil Not More Risky Than Others

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 3:27pm
James MacPherson and Matthew Brown, Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- The oil industry is pushing back against tougher rules for rail cars after a string of fiery accidents, insisting that crude shipped from the Northern Plains is no more dangerous than some other cargoes.

An industry-funded report released Tuesday said Bakken oil from North Dakota and Montana is similar to other light crudes. North Dakota Petroleum Council vice president Kari Cutting says that shows current rules for tank cars are sufficient.

Oil trains in the U.S. and Canada were involved in at least eight major accidents during the last year, including an explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec that killed 47.

Regulators in response have discouraged shippers from using older tank cars known to rupture during accidents.

A former senior federal railway safety official, Grady Cothen, says the accidents justify government intervention.

Brown reported from Billings, Mont.

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