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Letter: A bond that can’t be broken

I need to say I’m sorry. In my obsessive month’s-long impulse to lightly cajole North Dakota state regulators into mandating that Bakken oil companies remove explosive “natural gas liquids” and gases — such as deadly combustible H2S — from the crude before shipping, so that the oil trains don’t explode all over humans and certain animals, I may have come across as slightly angry.

I almost sincerely apologize. I had no idea that virtually everyone I contacted had taken a sacred vow of silence on the intersecting issue of railroad tanker cars and hellish towers of fire.

Heck, I badgered the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Oil and Gas Division, the guy who details the cars, and our legislators, relentlessly.

Queries, rants, generous amounts of mocking, derisive letters to the editor and multiple charges of cahooting. Not even a microscopic fissure. It was like trying to drive an oily nail into an oily cue ball.

The governor and those other two guys on the Industrial Commission ignored every word in a professional manner. Like true Mad Men, they had their secretaries ignore me.

But, Gov. Jack Dalrymple had our emergency agencies practice for the expected casualties … so, there’s that.

Public Service Commissioners Brian Kalk, Randy Christmann and Julie Fedorchak were splendidly silent. Kalk may have taken out a restraining order. Lynn Helms, or Ron Ness; it was one of them. Mute. Emails, gmails, dmails, Facebook posts, questions on their websites and Tweets. Nada. Those blood oaths are sturdy.

No worries, though.

I’ve found thousands of lawmakers, from Vancouver to Albany, with overtly healthy voice boxes, who don’t want their communities incinerated.

Ron Schalow,