Pipelines safer than moving oil by road or rail: report
According to a Fraser Institute report, pipelines are a much safer way to transport oil as compared to methods by road or rail.
Michael Franklin, CTV Calgary
Published Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:00AM MDT
A report from the Fraser Institute says that transporting oil by pipelines is much safer than methods that require road or rail.
Their study, Intermodal Safety in the Transport of Oil, says that the rate of injury was 30 times lower among oil pipeline workers as compared to rail workers connected to the transport of oil.
Injuries among road workers were even higher, coming in at 37 times higher.
The Fraser Institute’s report was based on results compiled from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the period from 2005 to 2009.
Resistance to pipeline infrastructure expansion is putting more pressure on road and rail systems as growth in North American oil production outpaces pipeline capacity.
Petroleum production is now nearly 18 million barrels a day, and could climb to 27 million barrels a day by 2020.
"People's unfortunate tendency to boil complicated issues down to simple black-or-white equivalencies interferes with their ability to really understand the trade-offs involved in the choice to move oil by pipeline, rail, train, and so on. Worker safety is an important dimension of the overall equation that tends to be overlooked in the discussion of pipelines such as Keystone XL," said study co-author Kenneth P. Green, Fraser Institute senior director of natural resources studies in a release.
In relation to spills, road transportation had the highest chance of spills with almost 20 incidents per billion ton-miles.
Rail transportation had slightly over two incidents per billion ton-miles.
Pipelines had less than 0.6 per billion ton-miles.
You can view the full report here.