Hoeven, Cramer & Armstrong to Washington Governor: Veto State Bill That Would Block Bakken Crude from Washington Refineries

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Congressman Kelly Armstrong pressed Washington State Governor Jay Inslee to veto a bill that would require crude oil passing through the state to meet a 9 pounds per square inch Reid Vapor Pressure threshold, which would effectively block the Pacific Northwest as a destination for Bakken Crude oil. The bill, SB 5579, was recently passed by the Washington State Legislature and now awaits Inslee’s signature or veto.

“We write in regards to SB 5579, which recently passed the Washington State Legislature. This legislation would result in a de facto ban of crude-by-rail traffic from North Dakota to refineries throughout the Pacific Northwest and would do little to advance the sponsor’s intended goal of reducing risk along the rail network. We respectfully ask that you veto the legislation,” the delegation wrote.

Current North Dakota regulations require companies to extract the most volatile gases from Bakken crude oil to guarantee the vapor pressure does not surpass 13.7 psi. North Dakota state officials established that threshold based on a national standard for stable crude oil, which is 14.7 psi.

Under the Washington State bill, companies planning to unload or store oil in Washington would first have to put it through extra processing to reduce its Reid Vapor Pressure to 9 psi, starting in 2020.

The full text of the letter can be found by clicking here.