From the “We Just Want the Trains to Run on Time” school of political thinking, here’s a good reason for the government to stop dragging its feet on the approval of energy pipelines: As railways strain to accommodate all of America’s energy traffic, long-distance Amtrak passenger trains are now late more often than not.

The New York Times reports:

American rail lines now move more than a million barrels of oil a day, much of it from the Bakken shale oil field in North Dakota and Montana and from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada. Last year about 415,000 rail cars filled with crude oil moved through the United States, compared with 9,500 in 2008, according to the Surface Transportation Board, a bipartisan body with oversight of the nation’s railroads.

In large part as a result, long-distance Amtrak passenger trains are now late 60 percent of the time, Amtrak officials said, compared with a year ago, when the trains were late 35 percent of the time.