The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) wasn’t a popular addition to the government’s quest to become the world’s biggest oil producer. Fossil fuel haters, Native Americans, and private landowners did their best to stop the construction of DAPL, but that didn’t go well for the protesters.
The DAPL just celebrated its third anniversary. and DAPL is now a safe and environmentally sensitive way to move oil from American wells to U.S. consumers. The Army Corps of Engineers as well as officials in North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and South Dakota claim the pipeline is by far the most technologically advanced oil pipeline on the planet.
DAPL continues to transfer crude from the North Dakota Bakken oil fields at an incredible rate of more than 500,000 barrels a day. The Dakota Access Pipeline helped North Dakota hit an output of 1.16 million barrels a day, according to North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources. North Dakota is still third in the crude oil production race. Texas and the oil production coming from the Gulf of Mexico still have North Dakota beat. DAPL continues to help the nation strengthen its energy independence thanks to transporting 40% of the Bakken production.
Landowners, the state, and several Native American tribes receive royalties from the pipeline. Plus, DAPL created 10,000 jobs during construction, and it supports the 80,000 jobs associated with the formation of the Bakken field. According to North Dakota officials, the pipeline transported more than 182.5 million barrels of oil so far.
During the first six months of operation, DAPL lost less than 4 barrels of oil, but the pipeline transported more than 61.25 barrels during that same six-month period. According to Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline went above and beyond federal safety regulations during its construction. Energy Transfer Partners is the company that built the pipeline. Company officials claim the pipe used to build the pipeline is 50% thicker than regulations require in sensitive areas. The company used ultrasonic and x-ray technology to field test each weld.
Energy Transfer Partners also used innovative technology to insert the pipeline 95 to 115 feet below the Missouri River in order to protect the precious drinking water from Lake Oahe.
According to the Energy Department’s Information Agency, the Dakota Access Pipeline crossed private land that already had easements for other utilities. The pipeline avoided the Standing Rock Sioux reservation even though there was a dispute about that fact.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers contacted dozens of tribes before developing the pipeline’s route. And the Corps of Engineers also interacted with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in order to discuss archaeological as well as other surveys the Corps conducted before the final pipeline route got the okay from all concerned.
Today, DAPL quietly operates along the same path as the Northern Border Pipeline, but it’s much deeper. The 35-year-old Northern Border Pipeline has an untarnished safety track record. Landowners received more than $189 million in easement payments in 2017, and state and local governments continue to pay millions in property taxes.
Pipeline supporters claim DAPL is a modern success story. But opponents say the pipeline poses serious public health risks. The federal government continues to release data that shows the pipeline is a safe way to transport oil. The Department of Transportation claims America’s 2.6 million miles of pipeline is the safest way to transport the country’s energy needs.
According to the Department of Transportation, without DAPL and other pipelines transporting oil on trucks, rail cars, and barges would undermine environmental safety regulations. A Department of Energy report list the United States as the world’s largest gas and oil producer thanks to the DAPL. The DAPL keeps the oil moving at a rate that reduces America’s dependence on other nations for its energy needs.