Recent fluctuations in oil prices have led to a variety of differing predictions about the future of domestic energy production. Despite those variances, however, development in the Bakken does not appear to be grinding to a halt anytime soon. While the level of activity may change, it seems that our current energy revolution is here to stay.
While this means job growth and investment will most likely continue, certain challenges will remain. In light of recent events in North Dakota, it is clear that the most pressing of those challenges continues to be finding a safe option of transporting natural resources to refineries and distribution networks.
The numbers compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration certainly prove that supporting new pipelines is right. Nearly 60 percent of crude oil produced in our region is transported by rail. These trains are more than a mile long and contain more than a million gallons of crude oil each. Around 30 of these trains rumble across Iowa each week. Diversifying our energy transportation options would help reduce this number and make trains available to transport other valuable commodities, including the agricultural products that feed our country.
While no mode of moving energy from point A to B is perfect, pipelines have proven to be effective and safe. Pipeline projects in our region, such as the Dakota Access Pipeline, are certainly a significant part of the solution to this critical issue.