Skip to comments.Why Farmers Need Keystone XL
Posted on 09/15/2014 6:35:11 AM PDT by Kaslin
Its harvest time! But oil shipments out of the Bakken are causing dangerous and costly rail delays for farmers.
The oil boom in the Northern Plains is a boon to the U.S. economy, creating thousands of jobs and increasing our supply of American energy. With nearly 3 million Americans out of work, the Bakken is like a pool of cool water in an arid desert.
However, our railroads do not have the capacity to transport unprecedented levels of crude oil as well as the fall harvest. Farmers are understandably frustrated with the railroad companies, yet the railroad companies say they are already doing everything possible to increase speeds.
Farmers are scrambling to store their harvest while they wait for rail service. Some growers are forced to store their grain on the ground because they do not have enough temporary bin capacityrendering the grain susceptible to spoilage or insects.
Overall, the rail delays are increasing costs for farmers and will likely end up raising the cost of food for consumers down the line. In Minnesota alone, transportation delays cost wheat farmers $8.5 million, soybean farmers almost $19 million, and corn farmers $72 million between the months of March and May.
Realistically, oil will continue to flow out of the Bakken and there will be another harvest of corn, soybeans and grain in the autumn of 2015. So, the long-term solution is not to accelerate trains and increase the risk of fiery derailments. The long-term solution is to build more pipelines, starting with Keystone XL.
Rail is the most dangerous mode of transportation for crude oil and it is only a matter of time before Americans die in a tragic derailment. Last summer, a train loaded with crude from the Bakken derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec and killed 47 people. And, a few months ago here in the United States, a train derailed in Lynchberg, VA just outside of a childrens museumbarely sparing the children inside.
The State Department has thrice (yes, thats three times) declared the Keystone XL pipeline to be environmentally safe. And, as I prove in Let Me Be Clear, transporting crude via rail is far more damaging to the environment than via pipeline. Yet President Obama and his sidekick Vice President Joe Biden are prioritizing huffing and puffing about raising the minimum wage rather than approving Keystone XLa project guaranteed to make Americans safer and more economically secure.
The United States is on the fast track to looking like the America that Ayn Rand describes in her novel Atlas Shrugged if Obama doesnt take his boot off the throat of Keystone XL. Our president is continually harping about creating a better future for Americas children, and yet he is the lone man standing in the way of building the technology that will keep our children safe. Obama also perpetually reminds us how the Republicans will not negotiate with him (which he defines as letting him take a metaphorical blowtorch to the U.S. Constitution). Yet isnt it interesting that Mr. Compromise is the only person in the entire United States who is unwilling to reach across the northern border and shake hands with our friend and ally Canada?
Are we willing to wait until another derailment causes a fire that takes the lives of innocent children before we build Keystone XL? Are we willing to stall until the price of bread breaks a middle class familys budget before we increase rail service for farmers and let the Bakkens shippers use a pipeline? I think not. Its time to build Keystone XL.
The Keystone XL would move relatively little oil out of the Bakken. It doesn't even cross North Dakota. It is primarily for moving bitumen/oil from Canadian Oil Sands.
I remember the environmentalist whackos who assured us in the early 1970s that building the trans Alaska pipeline would turn Alaska into an oil soaked moonscape and that building a pipeline over the tundra was impossible. They have been proved wrong for 40 years.
Four coal plants are being shut down in MN because of rail delivery delays:
I’m in favor of building the Keystone XL pipeline, but it isn’t going to solve the rail congestion problem.
A whole lot of that Bakken crude oil shipped by rail is going to northeastern refineries or storage facilities, so traffic is concentrated on BNSF lines from North Dakota through Minneapolis/St. Paul, down along the Mississippi River and to Chicago where eastern connections (CSXT and Norfolk Southern) are made. Some of the Bakken crude moves via Canadian Pacific (kinda punches a hole in freeper conspiracy theories about Warren Buffet -:)
Railroads are taking steps to reduce congestion. BNSF and CSXT are building a connection at Smithboro, Illinois to interchange one loaded (eastbound) and one empty (westbound) oil train per day instead of at Chicago. And I’d expect BNSF and Norfolk Southern to do something as well.
Try hauling that much oil that far in trucks...
Build more locomotives...
Many of the farmers have heard this song before. Then they get stuck with clean up costs after a spill.
Not saying that Keystone is like this, but there is a history in many of these states.
Is that so?
OPEC is going away one way or another. I am saying that taking property from one and giving to another is not a good choice.
I am saying that land owners have a reason to be cautious with oil companies. To many have lost land, herds, and water to false promises. Now, Keystone may be great, they may be horrible, but I can understand why some land owners want no part of them.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.