Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access pipeline project is set to transport over 400 000 bpd of crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa, before connecting to an existing pipeline in Illinois.
Recently, local Native Americans have come together to support those opposing the pipeline project, stating the 1400 mile pipeline may leak into the Missouri River, damage farmland and destroy sacred locations of the Standing Rock Sioux people.
The protesters believe that if the pipeline were to spill into the river, it would contaminate the drinking water and, as a result, the local residents would be forced to move. Approximately 8000 tribal members could be affected should there be a leak from the line.
Protester Jeremiah Hobia, stated: "If the pipe busts, it will contaminate the whole river ... A lot of that is drinking water and, to a lot of Native Americans, water is sacred to us. It keeps us alive."
Additionally, on 25 August, approximately 36 environmental groups wrote to US President Barack Obama, noting: "If there were to be a spill, which history has taught us is not a question of if but when, it would constitute an existential threat to the tribe's culture and way of life.”
On the other hand, supporters of the project believe the pipeline it will benefit the state. Mike Waddel from Bismarck explained: "People get all excited; 'well it's going to impact the environment this way or that'. I think the bigger impact is if the economy isn't working, what good is protecting the environment?"
Lindsey Nelson from Bismarck also commented: "It's better to have it in a pipeline instead of transported by rail or other ways it could spill more easily.”
Similarly, Tessa Sandstrom, Spokeswoman for the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said that the project is of economical importance for the state. She explained: "People in North Dakota have been asking for infrastructure, and we've finally got a project that can help with a lot of that.”
However, as a recent result of approximately 30 arrests, the company has temporarily shut down operations and construction of the pipeline.
Now, on 9 September, Judge James A. Boasberg of the US District Court, must rule on whether construction can be halted on the pipeline.
Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/30082016/federal-judge-will-soon-rule-on-dakota-access-construction/