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Reader's view: Pipelines are far safer than trains for transporting oil

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opinion Duluth,Minnesota 55802 http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/sites/all/themes/duluthnewstribune_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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Reader's view: Pipelines are far safer than trains for transporting oil
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

Amazingly, despite its length, the Aug. 12 article, “State plans training on oil train response,” made no mention at all of the obvious solution to the presented supposed problem.

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The stated problem was that 50 trains cross Minnesota each week with supposedly highly volatile crude oil from North Dakota. Gov. Mark Dayton’s public safety commissioner, Ramona Dohman, told the governor that every city and county must have plans for dealing with disasters, according to the story. But the governor suggested in the story that getting ready to respond to disasters may take three or four years.

All of that is a powerful argument for pipelines, which would eliminate all these concerns but which were not mentioned at all in the story as a solution. I cannot imagine how any knowledgeable and honest person can oppose pipelines.

There are many thousands of miles of pipelines, quietly doing their jobs for generations, several feet below the surface. The wild creatures above have no idea they are there. The farmers whose land they cross remember they are under their land only because of a few markers and some pathways through their woodlands.

A gas pipeline has passed under two of my family’s farm properties for about 60 years. Natural gas is far more volatile than any crude oil in the world, and that pipeline has been doing its job about six feet below our farm fields all that time without the slightest notice.

I cannot imagine how any informed and honest person can object to pipelines.

Pipelines have some risk, as do all means of transportation, but none remotely like the risks of rail, road or water transportation.

Every honest environmentalist should favor pipelines over all other means of transporting

liquid or gaseous fuels.

William H. Rees

Duluth

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