Fewer trains carry volatile crude from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields through Red Wing today compared to two years ago — a dramatic drop of nearly two-thirds.
Residents should not feel 66 percent safer, however, and therefore complacent since the demand for gasoline also in dropping. At least three trains lumber along the Mississippi River here daily, moving some 300,000 barrels of oil bound for refineries. All it takes for a tragic mishap is failure of a single car. If that doesn't concern you, read about the National Transportation Safety Board's report on page A12 regarding the Casselton, N.D., explosion.
Minnesota lawmakers continue to push for safer crossings, including one at Prairie Island, and improved emergency responder preparedness. Meanwhile, BNSF Railway Co. continues to invest millions to improve its infrastructure. More public money is needed.
We urge our newly sworn-in lawmakers to keep top of mind that their constituents are among the estimated 326,000 state residents living in the "blast zone."