The Sequel to Keystone XL: The North Dakota Access Pipeline Debate

Brookings Institution: “In what looks to be a sequel to the Keystone XL Pipeline dispute, a group of climate activists, Native American groups, and landowners are opposing the construction of yet another oil pipeline. Since the North Dakota Access Pipeline was first announced in 2014, opposition to it has slowly gathered momentum, culminating in high-profile protests last week.”

Here are some things to know:

“What is the Dakota Access Pipeline?”

“The 1,172-mile project is expected to carry nearly half a million barrels of crude oil daily—enough to make 374.3 million gallons of gasoline per day—from the hydrofracked sites in the Bakken formation in northwestern North Dakota  through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois.”

“Why is it being built?”

“Supporters of the project argue the pipeline represents the safest and most efficient way to transport Bakken oil… Dakota Access LLC, the company behind the pipeline, claims that the project produces significant economic benefits.”

“Why is the pipeline controversial?”

“The protests have been the most intense in Sioux County, North Dakota, home of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a reservation of 8,000 people. The Native American group says the pipeline endangers sacred sites and drinking water resources… The pipeline has also brought together environmentalists and climate activists intent on blocking the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure.”

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