Energy Transfer Partners is the company pursuing the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline which would move about a half a million barrels of crude oil each day almost 1,200 miles from the Bakken Oil Fields in northwest North Dakota to Illinois.
But the plans for it to tunnel under the Missouri River in ND have been met with months of peaceful resistance by the Standing Rock Sioux Indians, other Native American tribes and a host of supporters ranging from veterans, environmentalists, students and just a lot of folks who believe in fair play. Despite numerous instances of harsh treatment from those representing the interests of Energy Transfer Partners, this coalition have held back the construction start-up.
“The 1,200-mile pipeline would carry oil across four states to a shipping point in Illinois. The project has been held up while the Army Corps of Engineers consults with the Standing Rock Sioux, who believe the project could harm the tribe’s drinking water and Native American cultural sites.”
As of December 4, 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers announced its rejection of an application by an oil company to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to tunnel under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River. The Corps is now considering alternate routing for the pipeline.
But Energy Transfer Partners agents are responding by declaring its intent to ignore the Army Corps recent accommodation while maintaining its goal to continue on its current course.
As per the following report, the Standing Rock Sioux have good reasons to be worried. Channel 5 ABC Eyewitness Evening News did the following 11/22/16 report on the business, Energy Transfer Partners, titled: “Records Show History of Safety Violations for Dakota Access Pipeline Company:”
“We searched through federal and state records to learn more about Energy Transfer Partners.”
“The records show the company has lost at least 18,845 barrels of crude oil through pipeline spills across the country since 2005.”
“Since 2010, the government has fined the company and its subsidiaries more than $22 million for environmental and other violations.”
“Do accidents happen? Yes. What do we do when accidents happen? We fix them,” North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said.”
“Pipeline supporters point out that some leaks are caused by factors out of the company’s control. They also state that pipelines are still generally seen as safer than moving oil by trucks or trains.”
“Under the river is probably the safest place for this pipeline,” Ness said.”
“Energy Transfer Partners say its subsidiary, Sunoco Logistics, would operate the Dakota Access pipeline.”
“Federal records show no company has had more hazardous materials leak in the past decade than Sunoco Logistic. There have been 274 incidents.”
“For comparison, the second company on that list had 18 fewer incidents, but operates more than four times the miles of pipeline.”
“Energy Transfer’s incidents include an explosion after one of its natural gas pipelines ruptured in Texas.”
“And, Sunoco Logistics’ pipeline leaked 55,000 gallons of gasoline into a Pennsylvania creek after a landslide triggered by a flood.”
“Protesters in the Twin Cities and in North Dakota are decrying the company’s plan to tunnel under the Missouri River.”
“We protect our land, we protect our water,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.
“It’s a movement most important to the people who live just down river on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.”
The promise by Energy Transfer Partners officials, that there will be better paying jobs created by having this pipeline has little value if an entire population will be deprived of their main supply of drinking water because of one oil leak and with its track record, this is a very real possibility.
Their argument that transporting oil in a pipeline under water is safer than by shipping oil products by train or trucks is full of leaks. The damage to the environment because of an oil spill from a truck or train is much more limited and contained than when a pipeline leak occurs as barrels of oil are pulsing through a pipeline at record speeds.
The following update on 12/6/16 provides additional details about the Dakota Access Pipeline story from the 10/28/16 edition of Time Magazine by Justin Worland:
“Supporters of the pipeline—which include state and local government leaders —have showed little interest in accommodating the project’s critics, particularly the protesters on the ground. North Dakota Governor (republican) Jack Dalrymple has called in the National Guard as well as an army of other police officials.” (Over 500 arrests have occurred.)
“Protesters and tribal leaders have accused officials of unnecessarily rough treatment. Police have used pepper spray, rubber bullets and concussion cannons, among other tactics, according to the tribe. Amy Goodman, a journalist with the Democracy Now! program, was arrested while covering the protest for allegedly trespassing. Footage she captured showed police officers allowing their dogs to charge protesters.”