Democrats Asking Biden to Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline

By Maddy McCarty, P&GJ Digital Editor

A group of 33 Democratic congress members are named on a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline while it undergoes a court-mandated environmental review.  

The 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline transports oil underground from the Bakken/Three Forks production are in northwest North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Pakota, Illinois. The 570,000 bpd pipeline was completed in 2017 and Energy Transfer in 2019 began filing and making notifications about plans to optimize the existing pipeline to accommodate additional volumes of crude oil.

The Democrats, led by Reps Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) along with Sens. Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), argue the U.S. Army Corps failed to consider the potential impacts of the pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and other communities when the corps issued a permit for the pipeline to cross a federal reservoir along the Missouri River.

“The tribe draws its water from the Missouri River, and rightfully fears an oil spill could disproportionately affect their drinking water, as well as hunting and fishing writes,” the letter dated April 1 said.

The pipeline partners and operators maintain that it is the safest and most environmentally sensitive way to transport crude oil from domestic wells to American consumers.

A court in January ruled against a decision by the federal government which allowed for the pipeline’s construction, deciding the Army Corps of Engineers should have conducted an environmental impact statement, but left the decision whether to shut down the pipeline up to the agency, The Hill reported. The court postponed a hearing on the shutdown until April 9 to discuss plans with the presidential administration, the letter states.

“By shutting down this illegal pipeline, you can continue to show your administration values the environment and the rights of Indigenous communities more than profits of outdated fossil fuel industries,” the letter states.

Pipelines like Dakota Access are safer than rail or truck transportation of crude, according to the Dakota Access website, and a computer network control system monitors the pipeline 24/7.

Related News


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}