$3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline begins service

The controversial Dakota Access pipeline has started carrying oil between North Dakota and IL, its owner said Thursday.

The construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline drew months of protests by Native American tribes and environmental activists a year ago, but that pipeline is now expected to be fully operational today.

The $6.78 billion, almost 1,200-mile DAPL runs from North Dakota through four states to a hub in south-central IL at Patoka. Together with the Illinois-to-Texas Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline, it has 520,000 barrels per day of commitments from shippers, leaving room for another 50,000 barrels. We look back on the the fight against the pipeline during the coldest months of North Dakota winter.

"People are coming out against dirty fossil fuel infrastructure projects that would lock us into carbon producing fossil fuels potentially for decades", said Cathy Collentine with the Sierra Club, which was involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

The tribe has pointed out three separate incidents of pipeline leaks recently in the area.

In addition, a third-party inspector identified 83 sites along the 380-mile pipeline corridor in North Dakota where trees or shrubs might have been cleared in violation of the commission's orders.

Despite the start of service, American Indian tribes and their allies are still working in court to shut the project down, saying the federal government didn't conduct the proper environmental reviews before permitting construction under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

The pipeline crosses a number of bodies of water, including the Missouri River, which is the main drinking water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement needed to complete the pipeline. But President Donald Trump, fulfilling campaign promises, quickly reversed Obama's decision after taking office.

"This pipeline became operational today, yet it has already leaked at least 3 times".

  • Anthony Vega