Dakota Access Pipeline Needs To Stop

Water is sacred

The Dakota Access Pipeline needs to stop once and for all.  The North Dakota court ruled on the 8th the pipeline could continue.  On the 9th Obama signed an Executive Order to pause the construction.  There was also a joint statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior requesting that Energy Transfer Partners stop the construction 20 miles in each direction of the Lake Oahu crossing.  Full press release here.

Construction has halted in the 40 mile stretch around the Ohah River crossing pending further investigation.  Yet, while the reservation celebrates its ‘win’, construction continues on the rest of the pipeline.  This pipeline is going through 4 states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.  The pipeline is unnecessary and we are being lied to about the pipeline every step of the way. 

We are told we need another pipeline even though there are pipelines running all across America.  WHY? According to Energy Transfer Partners (owner of the new $3.8 million dollar Dakota Access Pipeline) we need it because it will transport 570,000 gallons of oil to refineries. Where it will be processed into usable products allowing the US to become less dependent on foreign oil.  The map below shows the current pipelines transporting both ‘crude’ unprocessed oil AND the processed oil being transported all around the US. It also shows the refineries.  The Dakota Access Pipeline is in purple.

There are existing pipelines going from the same location to the same refinery passing by several other refineries (owned by the same company).  The refinery in Illinois that the pipeline is ending at doesn’t have the ability to ‘refine’ another 570,000 gallons of ‘sweet crude oil’ per day.  There are already 6 pipelines that use that facility.

Big Oil lies again

Energy Transfer Partners claim this pipeline will help American depend less on foreign oil (which is a HUGE lie).  America doesn’t need to depend on ANY foreign oil and is actually one of the largest supplies of crude oil in the world.  America is ‘co-owner’ in the oil found in Saudi Arabia and has a 99 year contract to purchase a certain amount of oil from them.  “In May 1933 the California Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC), later called the Arab American Company (ARAMCO), had started the exploration in the country.” (Alnabrab, 2008)  Saudi Arabian oil was first discovered by the Americans in commercial quantities at Dammam oil well No. 7 in 1938, now modern day Dhahran.  Since that date, America and Saudi Arabia have been co-owners in the largest oil fields in the world.

There is no ‘safe’ method of transporting Bakken Shale Oil

The pipeline is claimed to be a safe way to transport Bakken shale oil, which is removed from the ground through fracking.  Not only is it far more volatile than normal oil, it is also highly explosive due to its high content of combustible gases.  U.S. regulators recently called Bakken crude an imminent hazard because of what they believe is its unusually flammable nature, and are in the process of proposing new regulations for its transport.  While American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers deny it is more dangerous than any other shale oil, when tested Bakken oil scored very high in volatility in the Reid Vapor Pressure scale. It averaged about 8 pounds per square inch in warmer weather and 12.5 in colder weather. Many samples were at the high end of the range, with the highest at 15.54. For more information about the testing done check this out.

Transporting it underground is VERY unsafe as leaks from the pipeline will be hard to find.  Every day in North Dakota at least one leak is found in the existing above the ground pipelines. These pipelines are less than 10 years old and shouldn’t leak.  You can read more about the problems with keeping up with current leaks here.  If the current leaks are too much to keep up with, how are new ones going to be found let alone stopped before there is a HUGE disaster that can never be ‘cleaned up’? 

Disposal of the toxic ‘Fracking’ Brine

Then there is the question as to what to do with the contaminated salt water and chemicals used to ‘frack’ the shale to get to the oil.  The pipelines will move the toxic brine water, but to where?  The chemicals are toxic and highly corrosive.  A farmer discovered the largest brine leak in North Dakota’s history when his tractor became stuck while he was harvesting. That leak allowed 3 million of gallons of brine to leak into the environment.  One year later, the same pipeline started leaking again.  This time, the pipeline leaked for 98 days before the leak was reported and stopped.  The clean up for the first leak is less than half way done, let alone the second.   There is no way to clean the environment to its original condition after leaks of this size.   Read more about the Brine leaks here.


Pakota Terminal is the end of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  A huge storage tank was built to hold the crude oil.  The new 11 million gallon storage tank was full less than 9 months after its construction.  This pipeline will NEVER be able to run at capacity.  You can read more about the storage of the oil at Patoka Terminal here.

The Dakota Access Pipeline was hailed as a great way for the states to lower their rising unemployed rate.  In all reality, the new jobs created by this pipeline will only last during it’s construction.  Within the state, the creation of middle management (high paying jobs) is a fallacy.   Moving employees from one location to another is how they fill the higher paying management jobs.  All locally hired workers are temporary.  They are paid little more than minimum wage.  (According to four separate pipeline crews.)

How can so many Americans be so silent about the pipeline that threatens their water and land.  Dangers from the pipeline are widely unknown by most Americans. Why are Native Americans the only ones willing to risk arrest for the water we ALL need to survive?  Are Americans so blind to the dangers in exchange for low gas prices?  Don’t they know that America doesn’t set the price on gas?  That honor lies with the dual Saudi Arabian American company that first discovered the oil fields in the Middle East.

What you can do to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline

You can help stop the Dakota Access Pipeline by contacting your local representatives.  Tell them you do not want Bakken oil running through a pipeline across the country.  Find your representative and their contact information here.  You can hold local community meetings and advise your neighbors what risks they are facing if this pipeline continues. You can also visit your local court house to voice your concerns in person.  Talk about this on social media. It has been a powerful tool in getting information out about this every step of the way.