This DeSmog investigative series explores the controversial Dakota Access pipeline owned by Fortune 500 company Energy Transfer (formerly Energy Transfer Partners) that now shuttles Bakken oil from North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, cutting through South Dakota and Iowa.
More than perhaps any other pipeline, the $3.5 billion Dakota Access pipeline captured the attention of the world during its construction, with massive demonstrations that led to hundreds of arrests and injuries. The opposition is led by a broad coalition of Native American tribes, which set up a camp on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Opponents cited the oil pipeline’s risks to property rights, threat to Native American water sources and cultural sites, prized agricultural lands, and the environment as reasons it shouldn’t be built. Under the Trump administration, Energy Transfer saw the 1,172-mile-long pipeline through to completion, with it going into operation June 1, 2017.
Series image: “Happy” American Horse from the Sicangu Nation locked himself to equipment at a Dakota Access pipeline construction site on August 31, 2016. Credit: Desiree Kane, Creative Commons, Attribution 3.0 Unported