Mayors and municipal leaders are increasingly concerned about the transportation of oil in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Region. Since the recent oil boom in the Bakken Region of North Dakota, development of additional rail, pipeline, and maritime oil transport methods has increased dramatically. These modes of oil transport carry risks for the long and short-term health of communities. Pipeline spills can damage bodies of water and other natural areas; maritime spills pose threats to the health of large bodies of water, including the Great Lakes themselves; and rail accidents can result in fire, explosions, and death, which are of particular concern in populated areas.
As of June 2015, the Cities Initiative's current action in this area is its application for Intervenor Status in the comment period of TransCanada's Energy East pipeline project; and its action on Oil Transportation by Rail. See the links to the left for further information.