Montana Public Radio

oil

Pipes for Keystone XL Pipeline.
shannonpatrick17 (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana Lawmakers are considering a resolution asking Congress and the President to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which President Obama has already vetoed once. Malta Republican Representative Mike Lang told the Senate Energy Committee the pipeline promises benefits for the state and the nation as a whole.

"Pipelines are the safest, most reliable, economical, and environmentally favorable way to transport oil and other petroleum products. Presently, a lot of people don’t know but in Montana, 88 percent of the oil that’s in our refineries comes from Canada, right now, today."

Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup, Jan. 2015.
Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

Glendive's water supply was shut down briefly this weekend due to contamination from the January 17 oil spill into the Yellowstone River.

Equipment installed near Glendive's water intake system detected elevated levels of volatile organic compounds early Saturday morning.

That prompted city officials to issue an advisory to conserve water. That forced residents to rely on bottle water through the weekend.

That advisory has since been lifted.

Bridger Pipeline Company

Oil could soon start flowing again through a pipeline that was shut down in January after spilling 30,000 gallons of crude into Montana's Yellowstone River near Glendive.

Crews and federal inspectors are testing the integrity of a fifty-mile section of that pipeline. Bridger Pipeline spokesman Bill Salvin describes the re-starting process as, "slow, methodical, safe and designed to ensure that everything along the pipeline is working exactly as it needs to work."

The spill temporarily contaminated Glendive's water supply.

Senate: Public Needs More Info On Montana Pipelines

Feb 25, 2015
Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup, Jan. 2015.
Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

Senate Majority Leader Matt Rosendale of Glendive says the public should have more information about the pipelines that cross Montana’s navigable rivers. A unanimous Senate agrees.

Senator Matt Rosendale of Glendive says he wanted to find out more about pipelines after crude oil poured into the Yellowstone River last month. It was the second time this happened since 2011.

Train near Essex, MT.
Flickr User Roy Luck (CC-BY-2.0)

At least one environmental organization is calling for an immediate moratorium on crude oil shipments by rail.

That's following a recent analysis that says oil trains could potentially crash almost once a month nationwide.

MTPR's Edward O'Brien reports the group believes the risk to both human life and the environment is too great.

Lawmakers Consider Creating Oil And Gas Trust Fund

Feb 5, 2015
Oil pump.
Dan Boyce

The author of Montana’s coal tax and the constitutional coal tax trust fund wholeheartedly supports creation of a constitutionally protected oil and gas tax trust fund. Former Billings legislator Tom Towe says, like the constitutionally protected coal tax trust, this would be a gift to future generations.
 

Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup, Jan. 2015.
Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

Bridger Pipeline Company Tuesday opened a claims center in Glendive for people affected by the January 17 break of their pipeline that spilled an estimated 28,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone river.

"That’s why we have the claim center set up, so businesses, residents and even local governments that have incurred added expense, because of this incident, which we’ve taken responsibility for, that we can reimburse them for those expenses," said Bridger Pipeline spokesman Bill Salvin.

Human safety is the top priority as the oil spill recovery effort continues on the Yellowstone River.
Bridger Pipeline spokesman Bill Salvin says  temperatures are warming and that's making the river ice more unstable.

"So for every person that's standing on the ice, they have a person that's on an airboat holding the line they're connected to and that line's tied off to the boat as well. We want to make sure that we keep everyone who's responding to this safe. That's driving everything we do in terms of oil recovery on the ice."

Pipes for Keystone XL Pipeline.
shannonpatrick17 (CC-BY-2.0)

Both of Montana’s Senators voted today for the bill to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Democrat Jon Tester says he looks forward to the day when clean, renewable resources provide most of America's energy needs:

"But until we get to a point when that's affordable and available, it appears to me that I'd rather do business with Canada than I would the Middle East."

Tester says the recent Bridger Pipeline oil spill on the Yellowstone River was not only a catastrophe, but entirely preventable.

Amy R. Sisk

The Bakken oil boom in Montana has already busted. That’s according to Terry Johnson, director of energy research at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic research.

"I would argue that the Bakken boom in Montana actually occurred back in 2005 and 2006. That the boom is really no longer that present in Montana at this point in time."

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