A refinery in Superior, Wis., wants to cut in on the rail industry's sweet deal: shipments of oil from North Dakota. The company doesn't own trains. But it does sit at the tip of Lake Superior.
Petroleum refiner Calumet Specialty Products Partners is exploring whether to build a crude oil loading dock on Lake Superior, near its Superior, Wis., refinery, to ship crude oil on the Great Lakes and through connecting waterways, the company said Friday. …
Pipelines are the cheapest way to move petroleum products, [analyst Ethan] Bellamy said, but their delivery points are fixed. Railcars, barges and ships can move to different delivery points. That allows crude to go to the highest bidder.
And what could go wrong?
Josh Mogerman of the Natural Resources Defense Council noted that a pipeline spill two summers ago of Canadian tar sands oil fouled Michigan's Kalamazoo River, a Lake Michigan tributary.
"That should give anyone who cares about the Great Lakes pause," he said.
Well, yeah. But that was a pipeline. When is the last time a boat carrying oil leaked into a waterway? I mean, besides yesterday.