Several groups want say in the debate
In this Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, heavy equipment works at a site where sections of the Dakota Access pipeline are being buried near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, North Dakota. photo: The Bismarck Tribune via AP/Tom Stromme, File, photo: The Bismarck Tribune/Tom Stromme, via AP
6 months ago
BISMARCK – Additional environmental review of the disputed Dakota Access oil Pipeline (DAPL) is likely to take the rest of the year to complete, U.S. officials said in court documents in which they also advocate for keeping the line operating during the study. Developer Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) also is asking U.S. District Judge James Boasberg to keep the line open, saying a shutdown would cost the Texas-based company $90 million each month. The $3.8 billion pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois was finished after President Donald Trump pushed through its completion despite opposition and an ongoing lawsuit by American Indian tribes, who fear environmental harm. Since June 1 it has been moving nearly half of the daily oil production in North Dakota, the nation's second-leading producer behind Texas — a total so far of more than 18 million barrels, or 756 million gallons.
"The process of temporarily shutting down a 1,200-mile pipeline is itself extremely costly, immensely complicated and burdensome, time-consuming, and ultimately more of a risk to the environment than allowing the flow of oil to continue," Scherman wrote. The company already experienced months of delays in getting the pipeline operational due to the court battle and on-the-ground protests in North Dakota, and more delay "would add insult to injury," he said. Several state and national energy and manufacturing trade groups, including the American Petroleum Institute (API), have asked Boasberg to let them have a say in the debate, saying a shutdown would harm businesses throughout the domestic energy industry. The North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC), which represents more than 500 energy companies including ETP, said no one involved in the lawsuit speaks for the general oil industry. "The completion of DAPL marked the first time that North Dakota and this region have enjoyed adequate pipeline capacity," council attorneys said. A shutdown likely would cut oil production, increase less-safe rail shipping, increase shipping expenses for companies, harm state tax revenue and impact "untold thousands of royalty owners," they said.
Dakota Access Pipeline company cozied up to Ohio officials. Then a pollution nightmare began. https://t.co/FhK4CFwjQn— Climate Desk (@ClimateDesk) July 18, 2017