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ACCESS DENIED: No Dakota Access Pipeline Under Lake Oahe

It may only be a temporary victory, but it is a victory. The Army Corps of Engineers has denied Dakota Access an easement to extend their crude oil pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. It doesn’t mean that pipeline construction has ended, only that it will not be built at that location. Construction will eventually continue pending an environmental impact review. That will determine where the remainder of the pipeline will be built.

However, they will eventually ship dirty, toxic oil to a terminal in Illinois. And the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company is building a pipeline from Illinois to Texas in partnership with Dakota Access that will bring the oil to a refinery in Nederland, Texas.

We can’t let up now. The struggle continues…

This is the press release from the Army Corps of Engineers:

Army POC: Moira Kelley (703) 614-3992, moira.l.kelley.civ@mail.mil

The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today.

Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Her office had announced on November 14, 2016 that it was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing. Tribal officials have expressed repeated concerns over the risk that a pipeline rupture or spill could pose to its water supply and treaty rights.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is an approximately 1,172 mile pipeline that would connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to an existing crude oil terminal near Pakota, Illinois. The pipeline is 30 inches in diameter and is projected to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day, with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels. The current proposed pipeline route would cross Lake Oahe, an Army Corps of Engineers project on the Missouri River.

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4 comments on “ACCESS DENIED: No Dakota Access Pipeline Under Lake Oahe

  1. Well that is a bit of good news but for how long?

  2. This kind of setback doesn’t seem to affect oil companies – but it sure affects the banks that finance them. When projects don’t proceed, corporations can’t make their payments and the banks eventually pull the funding.

    • That is definitely the case in most industries. However, oil company executives are, for the most part, the same as those in the banking industry in the U.S. and will find a way to continue construction soon. Most of these companies have unlimited resources and those who don’t are usually gobbled up by the larger firms.

      While this may sound like defeatist thinking, it’s simply realistic and is meant to keep people on top of this issue with due diligence. We can’t let up for a moment. We need to be resilient and as relentless as the corporate rulers.

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