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Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company heading the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, said on Friday that it would not consider rerouting the controversial project, the Associated Press reports.
Instead, the energy transportation firm would be willing to meet with leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to “ease” concerns regarding the environmental and cultural effects of the line, according to ETP’s top executive.
CEO Kelcy Warren said the firm saw no alternative than to continue construction on its $3.8 billion pipeline on its planned route. Once it is complete, the line will cross five states and bring oil from North Dakota’s reserves to Illinois.
"There's not another way. We're building at that location," Warren said, adding that Dakota Access construction had neared completion.
Warren invited Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, to a bilateral meeting in order to address fears of the destruction of tribal history and the jeopardization of water resources.
"We already know what he's going to say - that this is the cleanest, safest pipeline ever," the chairman told the AP in response to the invitation. "What he doesn't know is that this is still an issue for Standing Rock and all indigenous people."
The pipeline project—stalled in a disputed segment near Lake Tahoe 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 by the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the missing segment.
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.
Over 450 protestors who have supported the Standing Rock tribe’s stance against the pipeline have been arrested in the past few weeks, mostly for trespassing and crimes related to demonstration activities.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…