BERTHOLD, ND – Over the past several years, the demand for increased capacity to move both oil and agricultural products to market has grown rapidly. It is encouraging to see two legacy companies like Berthold Farmers Elevator and Enbridge Pipeline – now in their 50th year of moving ND oil – working together to improve North Dakota commodities’ access to markets. The Berthold station’s 118-car unit switch expansion is a great example of what can happen when we allow free markets to work, when rail and pipeline, agriculture and oil, come together synergistically to provide solutions that benefit everyone.
During my time on the PSC, I have cited over $1.3 billion of expansions to the Enbridge pipeline system alone. In 2005, Enbridge Pipeline North Dakota, LLC carried 65,000 barrels of oil per day, its current capacity is 355,000 bpd, and by next spring, they anticipate being able to transport 475,000 barrels of North Dakota crude oil every day. And every barrel piped out is a barrel no longer trucked. Enbridge’s Little Muddy and Grenora expansions will take over 800 trucks a day off the road between Trenton and Williston.
The increased pipeline capacity is of tremendous value to all North Dakotans, as pipelines provide the safest, most economical means of transporting our Bakken crude to market. In North Dakota, we have an efficient permitting process that protects our citizens and their environment while stimulating economic opportunities and creating jobs.
Today our nation has the ability to be energy secure, no longer dependent on foreign sources of oil from unfriendly regimes. Increasing our pipeline capacity allows American refineries to refine American oil.
The Keystone XL is another piece in this system. It needs to be built to maximize opportunities for North American crude. This is a matter of economic security – we know it will create thousands of jobs and pump millions of dollars of real, capital investment into our sagging economy – and also a matter of national security, responsibly developing our resources and relieving us from dependence on potentially hostile countries for our energy needs.
President Obama and Nancy Pelosi have made it clear that they do not want the Keystone XL built, despite the consequences to our economy. If elected to Congress this November, I intend to fight for the Keystone XL and American security.