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An aerial view showing the pipeline from Irving Oil's East Saint John Marine terminal and Canaport Marine terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, on August 27, 2013.
An aerial view showing the pipeline from Irving Oil's East Saint John Marine terminal and Canaport Marine terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, on August 27, 2013.
(Christinne Muschi For The Globe and Mail)

Are pipelines safer than oil by rail?

There are some perfectly rational environmental arguments against a massive expansion of North America’s oil pipeline capacity. But safety is almost certainly the weakest one.

Vancouver-based think tank The Fraser Institute published a study Tuesday which concludes that pipelines remain the safest method for transporting oil, natural gas and petroleum products in both Canada and the United States.