BILLINGS – Attorneys general for North Dakota and Montana have petitioned the Trump administration to overrule a Washington state law that imposes safety restrictions on oil shipped by rail from the Northern Plains.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and North Dakota’s Wayne Stenehjem said in a Wednesday petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation that federal authority over railroads should pre-empt the state law.
The Washington law requires oil shipped by rail through the state to have more volatile gases removed to reduce the risk of explosive and potentially deadly derailments.
Opponents say it will make Pacific Northwest refineries off-limits to crude from the Bakken region, one of the nation’s most productive oil fields straddling the North Dakota-Montana border.
Representatives of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee did not immediately respond for comment.