Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Meets Growing Resistance Along Pipeline Route

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Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Meets Growing Resistance Along Pipeline Route

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 13:16
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The projected Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline (© 2015 Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.)
The projected Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline (© 2015 Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.)

A 1,100-mile pipeline, dubbed Dakota Access and estimated to cost $3.7 billion, is nearly halfway complete. It would carry more than 400 000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Bakken region in western North Dakota across South Dakota and Iowa and ultimately connecting with an existing pipeline in Illinois.

Pipeline advocates laud the economic benefits the carrier would bring to the region. Its detractors, particularly the native American Sioux Indians, maintain the pipeline threatens to disrupt their ancestral homeland and pollute the water recources.

“Every time there’s a project of this magnitude, so the nation can benefit, there’s a cost,” Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, who was among those arrested, said. “That cost is born by tribal nations.”

The Sioux protest movement in North Dakota has blossomed, attracting not only other native Indian tribes but Hollywood celebrities as well, like Susan Sarandon and Leonardo DiCaprio. Moreover, the pipeline has met resistance elsewhere along its route, including from farmers in Iowa and property owners whose land is being taken by eminent domain.

The Dakota Access is entering a critical phase, with a district court judge to rule no later than 9 September whether construction should be halted. Last week nearly three dozen environmental groups wrote to President Obama, saying the US Corps of Engineers approved the project using a fast-track process that was inadequate given its size and the many sensitive areas it would cross.

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