The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a court filing it will grant Energy Transfer Partners LP the easement it needs to finish the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline.
The company needs the easement to complete work under Lake Oahe, following President Donald Trump’s memorandum that advised expediting review of the project. Trump took office promising to favor oil and natural gas developments as well as support new infrastructure, which has included reviving TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.
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In January, the Department of the Army, withholding the final easement necessary for construction beneath the lake, initiated an Environmental Impact Statement, which Energy Transfer failed to block in court. Energy Transfer has argued it went through the full permitting process and has the necessary approvals.
The project was originally scheduled to be operational by the end of 2016. Now it’s expected to start operating June 1, assuming no new obstacles prevent it, a person familiar with the matter said Feb. 3. Lisa Dillinger, a spokeswoman for Energy Transfer, confirmed that the project would be in service in the second quarter.
The pipeline would provide a new path for transporting North Dakota crude oil to Midwest refineries.
Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, was pleased with the news:
Today’s news indicates a positive step forward for the Dakota Access Pipeline. It’s encouraging to see how seriously the Trump administration is taking the need to build energy infrastructure, which will create jobs, improve our security, and keep energy affordable for families and businesses around the country.
While the permitting situation is finally falling into place, clean-up crews are hard at work picking up the hundreds of truckloads of garbage from extreme, anti-energy, “keep it in the ground,” pipeline opponents left at their protest site:
Making a dent in the immense amount of trash being hauled out of the Oceti Sakowin protest camp is being hindered by the weather. All the garbage that was left behind is now frozen into massive chunks of junk.
In a month, all this trash could become toxic.
“Standing Rock Environmental Protection Agency and Dakota Sanitation are working together to try and advert an environmental tragedy,” says Tom Doering, Morton County Emergency Manager.
It’s estimated it will take 250 trucks filled with litter to clear the camp.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa. Photo credit: Carl Wycoff. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.