North Dakota decries Washington’s oil train safety bill

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s top oil regulator is trying to convince legislators in Washington state that a proposal they’re considering to reduce the volatility of Bakken crude oil transported by rail is not supported by science.

The Washington Senate voted last month to mandate a lower vapor pressure limit for Bakken crude shipped through the state by rail, aiming to limit fiery derailments.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that the Department of Mineral Resources has requested state money to sue Washington if the legislation advances. Data from North Dakota’s Pipeline Authority shows that refineries in Washington state are the primary destination for Bakken deliveries of crude by rail, with daily averages of 200,000 barrels.

Federal authorities have mandated regional response teams for oil train wrecks after a series of fiery derailments since 2013.