The chairman of the US Senate Energy Committee says he understands the need for infrastructure – especially pipelines – in western North Dakota to get oil and natural gas to market.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is touring western North Dakota at the invitation of fellow Energy Committee member Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND). Wyden says he’d like to talk to people in the petroleum industry on the idea of so-called “smart pipelines.”
"Those pipelines have leak detection built in," Wyden told Bismarck reporters. "That helps deal with some of the methane leaks. It would be a chance to do something that's good for the economy, help us get that gas to market, and we would be taking steps to reduce methane leaks."
Wyden says he believes in an “all-of-the-above” approach on energy – and he likes the idea Hoeven has been pushing for a “states first” approach to energy development.
"In our country and in my state, we want good paying jobs, affordable energy and we want to protect our treasures," said Wyden. "We want a win-win situation rather than having a conflict or 'lose-lose.'"
Hoeven says he and Wyden agree on a number of issues. But one area of disagreement is the Keystone XL pipeline. Hoeven said he's hoping to convince Wyden of its need and its potential benefit for Bakken crude. Wyden said he thinks the main benefit would be to the Canadians for shipping tar sands oil.