Pipeline may carry benefits

A proposed 178-mile pipeline from the port of Albany to northern New Jersey is drawing criticism from environmental groups who claim the pipeline would place residential areas in serious risk of a devastating oil spill.

The pipeline, which would cost billions, still needs a number of key state permits in both New York and New Jersey, and groups like the Sierra Club are hoping to sway New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie into opposing the project.

The pipeline would carry North Dakota crude oil from a train terminal at the Port of Albany to coastal refineries and return gasoline, diesel, heating oil and other petroleum products to upstate New York. Proponents of the pipeline argue it could be good for the environment, in that it would eliminate a large amount of oil shipments by train and barge, both of which pose significant spill risks.

We hope that Cuomo and Christie will not bow to pressure from environmental groups and instead very carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks of the pipeline. It could help the economy and it might truly be less risky than other forms of oil transport.