$3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline begins service

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners announced Thursday that the line carrying North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution point in IL has started shipping for customers.

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. And now, the Dakota Access pipeline is in full service, moving hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day.

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.

Protests against the Dakota Access pipeline are far from dying out, as activists will continue their mission to keep the water in the Dakotas clean.

The pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, argues that the pipeline represents a "more environmentally responsible manner than other modes of transportation, including rail or truck". "It takes skill and professionalism to build a pipeline like Dakota Access in the face of relentless scrutiny and unsafe attacks on worksites", he said.

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Protesters won a short-lived reprieve in the waning days of the Obama administration, when the Army Corps of Engineers, at the former president's order, issued a finding that would have required the developer to pay for a years-long environmental impact study of the pipeline's potential danger to Lake Oahe, the Sioux nation's primary source of drinking water.

After months of protests, lawsuits and occasional clashes, oil started flowing Thursday through the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

"The reason we have regulations regarding trees and shrubs in North Dakota is that they're hard to grow, especially in western North Dakota", Fedorchak said.

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. ETP also claims to have a plan to replace every removed tree with two new ones, or about 94,000 of them.

  • Ronnie Bowen