Dakota Access pipeline expected to begin shipping Thursday

Andrew Cummings
June 3, 2017

Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company own the Bakken Pipeline, which is a 1,872-mile system that transports domestically produced crude oil from the Bakken/Three Forks productions areas in North Dakota to a storage and terminalling hub outside Patoka, Illinois, and/or down to additional terminals in Nederland, Texas.

North Dakota has six terminals in the Bakken in the counties of Mountrail, Williams and McKenzie, and several pipeline companies have either already tied-in to Dakota Access, or have tie-ins underway. According to The Washington Post, the pipeline runs 1,200 miles through North Dakota to IL, where it meets the Crude Oil Pipeline and extends to the Gulf Coast.

If you're catching up on the Dakota Access Pipeline issue, check out our timeline of key events here.

"People are coming out against dirty fossil fuel infrastructure projects that would lock us into carbon producing fossil fuels potentially for decades", said Cathy Collentine with the Sierra Club, which was involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. ETP says the system has commitments for about 520,000 barrels daily.

The firm, TigerSwan, used "military-style counterterrorism measures" and worked closely with law enforcement agencies in five states, including North Dakota and South Dakota, according to a report by The Intercept, an online publication. Clashes with police at the protests turned violent at times, with one woman nearly losing her arm after an explosion in November.

The pipeline took years to complete and has faced backlash from former President Barack Obama and environmental activists.

Obama halted the project in December by refusing to grant the Army Corps of Engineers an easement to route the pipeline below Lake Oahe, which is near the reservation.

Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault II renewed calls to fight the pipeline and to hold the administration accountable for starting and then stopping a more detailed environmental assessment. The four Sioux tribes trying to shut down the pipeline claim the incident supports their argument that the pipeline should be subject to government-ordered environmental review because it could jeopardize drinking water supplies.

"We will continue to battle the operation of this pipeline in court and remind everyone that just because the oil is flowing now doesn't mean that it can't be stopped".

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