North Dakota is preparing to sue Washington state over a Washington law requiring oil sent by railway through that nation to have gases removed, which supporters say would lessen the probability of volatile and potentially fatal derailments. Stenehjem says over the next few weeks, he and the governor will finalize their plans for the lawsuit.
“It’s not backed by science. It’s not backed by the law. It operates to the detriment to the state of North Dakota and to Washington itself. It doesn’t make sense for them to say they’re going to restrict the importation of oil from North Dakota and then the refineries to have to look for alternative sources, which is oil from Africa and the Middle East,” said Stenehjem.