The global energy corporations behind the Dakota Access Pipeline claim the announcement by federal officials to deny construction permits for the project is a “purely political action”and that they expect to complete the project without rerouting.
“As stated all along, ETP (Energy Transfer Partners) and SXL (Sunoco Logistics Partners) are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way,” ETP stated in a press release.
This comes after the Army Corps of Engineers announced on Sunday, Dec. 4 that they would not approve permits for construction of the $3.8 billion dollar Dakota Access Pipeline. The project has been partially stalled at the easement of the contested Missouri River, the primary water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe expressed gratitude for the Army Corps’ decision in a statement:
Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahu for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.
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.
The ETP complains in it’s press release that the Obama administration “has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.”
United States Assistant Secretary of the Army 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.