Energy Transfer is ready to significantly increase the capacity of the Dakota Access oil pipeline by 500,000 barrels per day. And so on 13 November North Dakota's all republican regulatory body, otherwise known as the Public Service Commission (PSC), held a hearing before the pipeline's advocates and detractors and locals' opinions were split right down the middle.
One Linton, North Dakota landowner questioned the ability to respond to a cold weather spill: "f we do get a pipeline leak and it crosses near the Cannonball River on January 30 where we have 30 inches of pipe in maybe 30 degrees below zero, how are you going to repair it?" The Standing Rock Sioux Indians said the proposed expansion would “increase both the likelihood and severity of spill incidents.' On the other side proponents cited the purported regional economics benefits that would come along with the pipeline.
The PSC will consider the public comment over the next several months before making a decision.
The pipeline has been subject to prolonged protests and hundreds of arrests during its construction in North Dakota in late 2016 and early 2017 because it crosses beneath the Missouri River, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The tribe draws its water from the river and fears pollution. Energy Transfer insists the pipeline and its expansion are safe.