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Letter to the editor: North Dakota needs the Sandpiper pipeline

Given the huge jump in North Dakota oil production, I want to applaud all three current members of the North Dakota Public Service Commission for approving construction of the North Dakota portion of the urgently-needed Sandpiper oil pipeline.

I testified at a PSC hearing on the Sandpiper pipeline and commend Commissioner Julie Fedorchak for leading the comprehensive but efficient Sandpiper approval process and for her focus on the need to expand our vital pipeline infrastructure. Modern, monitored pipelines like Sandpiper are by far the best and safest way to get Bakken crude oil to U.S. consumers and reduce our risky dependence on foreign sources. Plus not building the Sandpiper pipeline is projected to result in 4,300 more oil trucks — or the equivalent in additional railroad tank cars on railways — on North Dakota roads every day, seriously impeding transport of state agriculture products.

While current members of the PSC deserve kudos for their work, we can only hope that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will be as effective in approving its part of the Sandpiper pipeline, so it can start serving the needs of the entire country.