By Stephanie Joyce - Wyoming Public Media & Inside Energy
In the first quarter of 2014, the United States surpassed both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. It already hit that mark for natural gas in late 2013. All of that oil and gas has to be transported from the fields where it’s drilled to refineries and processing plants.
Most of that is done by pipeline, but the nation’s pipeline infrastructure isn’t currently up to the task.
A leaky pipeline has spilled about 1 million gallons of saltwater near a North Dakota reservoir that supplies drinking water to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The pipeline, owned by the Texas-based Crestwood Midstream Partners, runs along the shore of Bear Den Bay on Lake Sakakwea, a reservoir on the Missouri River.
A fiery oil train derailment in Canada killed 47 people a year ago, prompting regulators and railroads in the U.S. to make changes. Some who live near where oil trains travel are still worried, though.
Amy Roe with the Delaware chapter of the Sierra Club lives not far from where tank cars transport and store crude oil. Roe wishes the country would move away from fossil fuels faster. That plays into her opposition to oil trains, but she's also concerned about safety, especially after the accident that happened last July in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.