I was encouraged to read that there are alternative means of getting bitumen oil from Canada to refineries (“Canadian oil finds new pathway,” March 4). It would be interesting to see a cost comparison between transporting the oil by pipeline vs. rail.

The comparison would have to include the cost from extraction through refinement as well as infrastructure and maintenance. With the exception of building and supplying the rail tanker cars required to transport the oil, it seems the rail infrastructure already exists, whereas the pipeline is a long way from completion — if, in fact, it’s ever completed.

The United States has one of the most advanced rail systems in the world for transporting products to various markets. I’m pleased to see that moving oil is one more good use of our rail systems.

JIM BRERETON, Minneapolis