In the last 18 months, oil trains in the U.S & Canada have had 10 major accidents, including the Lac-Mégantic, Quebec incident that killed 47 people. With this in mind, the regulator and mineral resource director of North Dakota has proposed to require oil companies to lower volatility of crude before shipping by rail. They strategy to do so involves removing certain liquids and gasses from all crude being shipped from the state. Although the Industrial Commission seems to agree with the proposition, with the Gov who heads the commission calling the proposition “an excellent working draft,” they are going to review it further. If the proposition is approved it will start being enforced in February. However not everyone agrees with the proposition and are bringing up valid arguments to why it would actually worsen the safety issues.
Ron Ness the president of the North Dakota Petroleum Counsel which represents more than 500 companies responded saying that stripping liquids and gases from crude would in reality cause the crude to become more hazardous and would result in unnecessary pollution.