The Minnesota Agriculture/Energy Alliance issued the following statement today in response to the oil car derailment and fire near Heimdal, North Dakota:

“This most recent oil car train derailment and fire in Heimdal, North Dakota underscores the importance of developing a method to safely transport oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota to Minnesota and accents the need to call on Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission to approve the the Sandpiper Pipeline project” said Lance Klatt, a spokesperson/member for the Ag/Energy Alliance and Executive Director of the Minnesota Service Station and Convenience Store Association.

The railroad company reported that the derailment involved a newer class of model tank cars designed to have enhanced safety features. Even with those safety features, this proves that accidents with oil cars are dangerous, and even deadly. With the overwhelming congestion on railroads today, the Ag/Energy Alliance believes that the Sandpiper project would alleviate come congestion.

“The Minnesota Agriculture/Energy Alliance was formed as a partnership to work together to help support projects that improve access to markets for agricultural products, efficient energy and overall business climate. Projecting public safety is a key component to the group’s support of Sandpiper” Klatt continued.

The Sandpiper pipeline project is a 615 mile underground oil pipeline that would safely and effectively transport oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region through Minnesota to the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN/Superior, WI.

In April, Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman recommended approval of the Sandpiper project to the Public Utilities Commission. He indicated that the company had demonstrated a need for this project and that was backed up by the overwhelming support from public comment.

The Minnesota Agriculture & Energy Alliance is a partnership between citizens, government, non- profit organizations and private companies working to support Minnesota’s farmers and agri-business, rural retailers and other small businesses. We want to improve life in our state, and so we support projects that make Minnesota better – and a better place to live and work.

Mike Franklin
(612) 578-5372

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Cameron Prudhomme