Over the past few months, the Dakota Access Pipeline has been under debate. In 2014, Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Acess announced that they had been approved to build a pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois. The cost of the pipeline is estimated to be around $3.8 billion. Several protests have occurred, led by the Dakota and Standing Rock Sioux tribes. The proposed route would cut through their territory in North Dakota and South Dakota.
Where is the DAPL Route?
As you can see, it starts off in Northwestern North Dakota in the Bakken region, which is the home of the Dakota tribe. It will travel through four states; North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. Estimates show that the pipeline can transport 470,000 to 570,000 barrels of oil per day should the pipeline go through. The state of North Dakota has produced over 1 million barrels of oil per day on average since April of 2014. Energy Transfer and Dakota Access claim that the pipeline is a safer method of transporting oil than from trucks and rails. A notable incident from transporting oil was the fairly recent one in Quebec in July of 2013.
Part 1: Basic Info
Proponents of the pipeline as well as the Keystone XL pipeline attempt to persuade people to join their side by claiming it lead will to energy independence. When asked on this, Energy Transfer Partners, were unable to give a clear answer. Reports show that the oil is likely to be exported. Lee Fang of The Intercept reports that Energy Transfers is primed to cash in on oil exports. In December, Congress lifted a 40-year ban on crude oil exports, as part of an omnibus bill. Look at the facts here: If there is no embargo on oil exports, then, of course, there will be oil exports. Do you think that Energy Transfers wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to export oil?
Also, oil is a non-renewable dirty source for energy. Even if this oil from North Dakota is even used for consumption, it is fueling the human activity led climate change.
During the construction process, Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Partners claim that the number of jobs created will be around 8,000-12,000. These construction jobs aren’t permanent, obviously. They also state that it could raise $50 million from property taxes and $74 million in state sales taxes across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. That is a positive, at the expense of the environment.
Part 2: Why is it incorrect?
The Dakota Access Pipeline is wrong for several reasons. The pipeline goes right through the Dakota and Sioux tribes who have vehemently opposed it along with countless other supporters. In fact, the United Nations supports the Dakota and Standing Rock Sioux tribes in opposing the pipeline.
Additionally, the pipeline could contaminate drinking water. Much of the Midwest receives its drinking water through the Missouri River, including the Sioux Tribe, which has been a major catalyst in this battle. Although under the fact sheet subsection titled “Construction and the Land” state that a minimum of 36 inches of soil must cover the pipeline, oil pipelines are prone to leaks. Studies show that fracking leads to contaminated water. People who deny this are denying the truth. We know that there is massive corruption here. Oil companies and notable proponents, including politicians, are definitely in it together. Many politicians take money from big oil companies, who in turn will do their bidding. The site Open Secrets tracks money in politics. Here is a list of major oil and gas companies who have given to politicians in the U.S. Congress. The oil industry is one of the world’s most profitable industries, and it shows in lobbying expenses alone. In each of the last eight years, oil and gas companies have spent over $100 million annually in lobbying expenses also according to Open Secrets.
To see Energy Transfer Partners Open Secrets profile, click here.
Here, we see the map of the Missouri River. There is a significant amount of overlapping, which means a lot of the pipeline will be below the Missouri, which solidifies the point of clean water risk with the pipeline.
Part 3: Violence Against Protestors:
Over the recent weeks, there have been an increasing amount of process. Last week, security officials and dogs were brought in and attacked several people. Also, pepper spray has been used on protestors as well. Here is a clip from the protests. These protestors are peacefully protesting, which is a fundamental right established in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Repeated violence against protestors is in clear violation of freedom of assembly. There haven’t been reports of protestors being violent, then came the attacks. This is happening because Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access despise these protests because it’s hindering construction and their profits.
Part 4: Funding:
The pipeline’s cost estimates to be around $3.8 billion dollars for the entire project. With this, several major financial institutions have been financing the project. Some include HSBC, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, UBS, JPMorganChase and Wells Fargo to name a few. It’s really no surprise that these institutions back these big name projects. The elite is all interconnected. Oil companies, banks, and other corporations all work together to keep the system as it is alive. The system as it is needs to stop
Part 5: Recent ruling and Executive Action
A federal judge recently ruled against halting the construction of the pipeline except in an area sacred to the Dakota tribe, but the Obama Administration stepped in to halt the DAPL’s construction temporarily. Even with this good news, there is still a lot of fight left to end the DAPL in its entirety.