Another pipeline, the Bakken pipeline, will be sneaking across mid-America. This one won’t be carrying Alberta tar sands goo, but petroleum squeezed out of the Bakken fields in North Dakota. The Corps of Engineers gave final approval to the pipeline company, Dakota Access, once it concluded that the pipeline route will respect sites considered culturally significant by the Sioux.
Here’s the route of the pipeline:
But it ain’t over until it’s over. The Sioux aren’t happy and have been blocking access to the construction sites. Plus, some of the farmers in Iowa aren’t happy about the State of Iowa granting eminent domain powers to the pipeline company, so the pipeline company can condemn privately held land just as a public entity could. (Special Note: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is on the board of the pipeline developers. One of his buds is Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa. What a nice fit, and coincidence, of course.)
So here’s an excerpt from the story telling us what’s going on:
The so-called Bakken pipeline, a line about as long as the proposed Keystone XL, is set to cut through the Dakotas, Iowa, and Illinois diagonally. Owned by a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, every day the line will transport up to 570,000 barrels of sweet crude oil fracked from North Dakota’s oil-rich Bakken Formation, to a market hub near Patoka, Illinois.
A North Dakota federal court ordered Native American protesters [from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe] Wednesday to stop blocking the construction of [the pipeline].
The restraining order comes as construction at the site has been suspended following days of protests.
Most of the affected land is private farmland, but the project does run through wildlife areas and sacred Native American sites, as well as major drinking water sources like the Mississippi, and the Missouri, the longest river in North America. Federal agencies have said the Bakken pipeline avoids “critical habitat,” and developers have assured states the pipeline is safe. Critics, on the other hand, consider the Bakken pipeline an unreasonable threat and say the line is poised to leak.
Though a restraining order is in place, the protest is likely to continue further away from the site.
The Bakken pipeline is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year.
Riders from the Standing Rock, Rosebud, and Lower Brule Lakota reservations came together on horseback to push back a police line that had formed between a group of protesters and the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site. Daniella Zalcman
Horses and riders from the Rosebud reservation arrive to support the Standing Rock community. The horses are in traditional Lakota regalia. Daniella Zalcman
Protesters congregate next to a construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline on Monday morning, as a crew arrives with machinery and materials to begin cutting a work road into the hillside. The flag in the foreground belongs to the American Indian Movement. Daniella Zalcman
A protester is arrested for standing on the outer layer of barricades that separate the protest site from the police line and construction zone on Monday morning. Daniella Zalcman
Two young Lakota boys watch as construction machinery drives onto the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site, just over a mile from the banks of the Missouri River. Daniella Zalcman