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Administration Buys More Time As Dakota Pipeline Protests Heat Up

DAPL protestors

Tied up in controversy over a section in North Dakota, the Dakota Access pipeline will be the subject of more discussions and analysis before permitting is decided upon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement today, ahead of 200 planned protests for tomorrow.

The pipeline project—stalled in this disputed segment since September—is finishing up the rest of its construction by 1 December and hoping to start moving crude by early next year if granted permission to proceed with the missing segment.

The decision is the purview of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which must determine whether the pipeline should disregard Standing Rock Sioux Tribe concerns about it crossing federal land near Lake Oahe.

On Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would work with the tribe on a timeline “that allows for robust discussion and analysis to be completed expeditiously”, Bloomberg reported.

The US$3.8-billion pipeline, owned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, said Monday it would finish the pipeline within 120 days of winning approval to cross federal land beneath Lake Oahe.

At this point, the company is banking on a change in leadership in Washington, though it was not clear whether President Barack Obama would have supported the easement, or whether the incoming president will, either.

Some 200 protests are planned for tomorrow at Army Corps Engineers officers and elsewhere across the U.S. Protesters have been increasing in momentum over the 1,172-mile-long pipeline, which will carry North Dakota oil to Illinois for shipping, passing through South Dakota and Iowa en route. To date, over 450 protesters have been arrested as they support the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which takes issue with the pipeline over concerns about the threat to drinking water and cultural sides.

There has been no indication from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as to when discussions and analysis might wrap up to allow the administration to render a final decision on the project.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Bud on November 15 2016 said:
    How many bridges and pipelines already cross the Missouri River? How many crossings of rivers and streams nationwide? We don't seem to have a problem except maybe in the Rockies where river bottom scouring due to fast water can be an issue.

    There is a large high pressure natural gas line crossing, that brings nat gas from Canada to the chicago region, very close to the pipeline being protested. This is not some new route over virgin land. This is a route over private land that has been heavily reviewed and makes sense.

    The pipeline company already moved the tribes water intake 70 miles further from these pipelines, so what is this really about. This is a strategic protest of fossil fuels, period. Strategic means that the tribe leaders and foreign funded activists planned to coordinate this protest with the election cycle, and therefore the tribe has not negotiated in good faith for years.

    The problem on this reservation, like many, is unemployment upwards of 80%, not water quality. The pipeline company would likely drill them water wells gladly. In fact, they should have negotiated jobs for tribe members during construction. They should have negotiated educational grants and corporate employment opportunities for tribe members with any higher education.
    They won't do it, but the CEO of this company, after the pipeline is finished next year, should sue those involved with pushing the tribe leaders and perform discovery on years worth of back room deals and communications. Would be quite informative.

    The media is not doing these tribe members justice by allowing them to think they can readjudicate the consequences of a war between a Stone Age hunter gatherer society and a post industrial culture. What they need to due is help them get educated so they can get jobs in Washington or the Fortune 500. But the guys and gals running those tribal lands and casinos don't want that.

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