John Driscoll in running for the US House of Representatives for Montana and recently visited with the Bakken Oil Business Senior Editor to share his views on the future for energy in the Big Sky State.
He said he was surprised and delighted to discover crude oil is being shipped from the Bakken by rail to the Columbia River, and then transported by ship to West Coast refineries in California. It has effectually displaced crude oil which would otherwise have to be imported from Saudi Arabia and other regions in the Middle East and North Africa.
He was posted at the Pentagon and serving his third and final tour of duty as a US Army Colonel, working as a Joint Staff Officer for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during the 9-11 terrorist attacks. A few days afterwards he noted on a post incident survey required of those receiving combat pay: “I was standing just an estimated 100 feet in front of the American Airlines Flight 77 plane after it came to rest in the depths of the building. On the first deck, a few feet to the right of Corridor 4, I later observed a 20-foot hole blasted through the inner wall of the C Ring, just a few feet from where I was nearly knocked off my feet on the first deck in Corridor 4 at the B Ring.”
He further stated it was a close call and after over 12 years it’s hard to forget 19 out of 20 terrorists were Saudi nationals who hijacked and flew our planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
He encourages President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to help address a complex set of challenges we will face in meeting our national energy requirements. There is need to work together in order to be able to minimize the human, environmental and financial costs of getting the US onto a more secure source of crude oil.
He pointed out there is a need to move quickly beyond the Keystone XL pipeline decision and make plans to build another pipeline, crossing the US-Canadian Border at Sunburst, Montana, upgrading north of the Marias River, accepting Bakken from along the alternate (Tioga) route, proposed by the State of Montana and BLM for the Northern Tier Pipeline, and flowing down the CANAMEX (I-15) corridor to West Coast refineries.
Montanans are capable protectors of Montana’s environment and will bring their environmental stewardship and our personal individual rights to a clean and healthful environment in solving the problems certain to be identified. This will aid the safer, more efficient and environmentally benign transport of crude oil via pipeline.
His focus will be to encourage efficient development, distribution and use of fossil fuel energy, as the transition to alternate energy resources.
This will assist in freeing up national capital from supporting forward deployment of US military forces to countries with governments hostile to the US. Private capital can accelerate changing over thermoelectric plants to above 50% conversion efficiency, since they will still have to rely on base-load coal for the intermediate term. Wind, hydro and natural gas energy will have to be integrated on a situational basis as well.
Over the long run the US needs aim toward a robust electricity infrastructure of upgraded transmission lines, including more outside linemen, and high speed electric passenger rail along our Interstate highways, integrated with plug-in hybrid and electric motor vehicles.