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By Renée Jean [email protected]
Two radishes tell the tale. One was the size of a giant’s thumb. The other the size of a human child’s — stunted by compaction issues on a roadway built to install a pipeline.
The radishes were passed around to a group of oilfield representatives touring pipeline reclamation studies at the Williston Research Extension Center. Many of those present are movers and shakers in the energy sector, representing such companies as Continental, Hess and ONEOK, to name just a few. Government agencies also had a few movers and shakers of their own — namely Public Service Commissioner Randy Christmann.
Tom Wheeler, a farmer who has been very active in landowner issues, helped set up the event with the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
Wheeler said he had been one of the farmers who was 100 percent against pipelines, but later truck traffic convinced him pipelines are the best and safest way to move oil products to market.
“Now I”m a huge advocate of pipelines,” he said. “We have to have them. For safety and for all the reasons I listed. It’s the safest way to transport crude oil.”