Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota US Senator Al Franken is urging that more money be put toward protecting the state and the nation from potential oil spills while it's being transported by rail.
In a letter Friday, the Democratic Senator asked for the creation of a Safe Transportation of Energy Products Fund to address existing, and emerging, issues related to transporting crude oil via train and oil tankers.
Franken also calls for increased investment for inspection personnel.
The push comes months after trains carrying crude from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota collided, spilling and igniting the flammable substance.
Senator Franken, along with Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, says the funding is significant during a time when millions of barrels of oil are being produced in the Oil Fields and transported through Minnesota.
According to Franken, railroads now transport approximately one tenth of U.S. crude oil output, or approximately 800,000 barrels a day.