Dakota Access: Energy Transfer Partners Bakken Oil Pipeline

About the Dakota Access: Energy Transfer Partners Bakken Oil Pipeline Series

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 KaneCreative Commons, Attribution 3.0 Unported

In This Series

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On January 7, 2021, Energy Transfer was notified by its insurer, Westchester Fire Insurance Co. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that it had lost a $250,000 surety bond for the Dakota Access pipeline...
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On Monday, July 6, a federal judge ordered the shutdown of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) by August 5. The move follows a March judgment that ordered the pipeline to undergo a more thorough envi...
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Today, a federal judge tossed out federal permits for the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), built to carry over half a million barrels of Bakken crude oil a day from North Dakota, and ordered the U.S....
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A North Dakota federal judge dismissed Energy Transfer’s racketeering lawsuit against Greenpeace and all its co-defendants in a sharply worded ruling issued today, finding that the pipeline builder...
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Roughly four years ago, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) filed a federal application to build a 1,172 mile oil pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken shale across the U.S. to Illinois at a projected cos...
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On October 18, two Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and a pastor for an Episcopal Church on the reservation filed a class action civil lawsuit against state, county, and private law enforcement in...
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A leaked memorandum published by The Intercept and Documented Investigations shows that a Koch Industries' donors network, known as the Seminar Network, has taken credit for Donald Trump approving ...
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On the heels of Iowa and Ohio, Wyoming has become the third state to introduce a bill criminalizing the type of activities undertaken by past oil and gas pipeline protesters.  One of the Wyoming b...
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The Iowa Senate has advanced a bill which critics say could lead to the criminalization of pipeline protests, which are being cast as “terrorist activities.” Dakota Access pipeline owner Energy Tra...
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At a shareholder meeting this past spring, U.S. Bank announced it would be the first large American bank to completely stop issuing loans for oil and gas pipeline construction projects. Environmen...
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At its recent States & Nation Policy Summit, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that connects state legislators with corporations and creates templates for state legislation,...
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On October 23, 84 Congressional representatives made a splash when they published a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking if those engaged in activism disrupting or damaging pipeline...
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By Steve Horn and Curtis Waltman As tensions rose at Standing Rock last fall, Red Fawn Fallis was one of many arrested at the scene of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) protests near Cannon Ball,...
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Energy Transfer Partners, owner of the Dakota Access pipeline, has filed a $300 million Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental grou...
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By Steve Horn and Curtis Waltman, MuckRock Behind the scenes, as law enforcement officials tried to stem protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, alumni from the George W. Bush White House wer...
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By Steve Horn and Curtis Waltman Retired Major General James “Spider” Marks chairs the advisory board for TigerSwan, a private security firm hired by Energy Transfer Partners to help police protes...
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After taking heat last fall for destroying sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the owner of the Dakota Access pipeline finds itself embattled anew over the preservation of historic sites...
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The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF), a conservative advocacy, lobbying, and electioneering group led by a strategist for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has lobbied for both the Dakota A...
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By Steve Horn and Curtis Waltman At the end of 2016, as a mix of sheriffs, police, and private security forces were clashing with those protesting the Dakota Access pipeline at the Standing Rock S...
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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a report titled, “Potential Domestic Terrorist Threats to Multi-State Diamond Pipeline Construction Project,” dated April 7 and first pu...
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The April 7 deadline has come and gone for public comments on President Donald Trump's executive order calling for U.S. pipelines to be made with U.S.-produced steel, and some of the most influenti...
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Quietly and behind the scenes, a front group funded by the Koch family fortune has lobbied and advocated for the soon-to-be-operating Dakota Access pipeline, a project in which a Koch subsidiary st...
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Federal lobbying disclosure forms for the first quarter of 2017 show that Jeff Miller, campaign manager for U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry's 2016 Republican presidential bid, now lobbies for the ...
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By Steve Horn and Justin Mikulka One of the arguments often made for building more oil pipelines is that they will lead to fewer trains hauling oil, with proponents further positing that pipelines...
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At his February 16 press conference, President Donald Trump discussed his executive orders calling for U.S. federal agencies to grant TransCanada and Energy Transfer Partners the permits needed to ...
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In response to the ongoing battle over the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, the oil industry and the groups it funds have started a new refrain: transporting crude oil through pipelines is ...
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The day after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) the final permit it needed to build its line across Lake Oahe, which connects to the Missouri Riv...
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On January 30, 600,000 gallons (14,285 barrels) of oil spewed out of Enbridge's Seaway Pipeline in Blue Ridge, Texas, the second spill since the pipeline opened for business in mid-2016. Seaway is...
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If President Donald Trump expected to hear roars of approval from the pipeline industry after this week's executive orders pushing the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) forward...
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On January 24, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders calling for the approval of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, owned by Energy Transfer Partners and TransCanada, respect...
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Shaun King, a writer for the New York Daily News, has uploaded what appears to be a recorded audio file of Energy Transfer Partners' Chief Operating Officer saying that “election night changed ever...
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Former Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry, a boardmember of Energy Transfer Partners — owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) — has been named U.S. Secretary of Energy by President-elect Dona...
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The day after the Obama administration announced that the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) project would be required to undergo additional review, protests against the banks that funded the project co...
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By Branko Marcetic Colonel John W. Henderson has some peculiar heroes. Little is known about the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District, whose name has been in the news followin...
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One of the few helicopters authorized to fly within the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) zone over Dakota Access pipeline protesters in Cannon Ball, N...
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed to DeSmog that Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, has ignored the Obama administration's September 9 request ...
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Robert Crear, one of the lobbyists working for Dakota Access pipeline co-owners Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, formerly served as a chief of staff and commanding general for the U.S...
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President Barack Obama, in an interview with Versha Sharma of NowThis News, said that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may consider a reroute of the hotly contested Dakota Access Pipeline, one whic...
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TigerSwan is one of several security firms under investigation for its work guarding the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota while potentially without a permit. Besides this recent work on the S...
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Almost exactly 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill creating an interstate agreement for emergency management. That inconspicuous law has opened the door for the current floo...
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In a chaotic scene Saturday, October 22, law enforcement officers in riot gear used pepper spray and batons to break up a group of hundreds of Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) protesters during a pray...
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A private firm that conducted the environmental review for the highly contentious Dakota Access Pipeline was simultaneously working for Energy Transfer, the company behind the project, on a connect...
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On September 9, the Obama administration revoked authorization for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on federally controlled lands and asked the pipeline's owners, led by Energy Tra...
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A DeSmog investigation has revealed the possibility that a front group supporting the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) — the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN) — may have cre...
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G4S, a company hiring security staff to guard the hotly contested Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), also works to guard oil and gas industry assets in war-torn Iraq, and has come under fire by the Uni...
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By Larry Buhl and Steve Horn Friday afternoon brought a roller coaster of emotions for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and supporters in the battle to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline...
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In the two months leading up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to issue to the Dakota Access pipeline project an allotment of Nationwide 12 permits (NWP) — a de facto fast-track federal...
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On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. halted construction on a portion of the contentious Dakota Access Bakken oil pipeline route, which falls on federal land. However, because the court ...
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Continental Resources — the company founded and led by CEO Harold Hamm, energy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign and potential U.S. Secretary of Energy under a Trump presidency — has ...
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U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) recently came out in support of the Dakota Access pipeline, the hotly contested Energy Transfer Partners-owned pipeline envisioned to move oil obtained via hydraulic...
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The Standing Rock tribe has filed a lawsuit against the U.S Army Corps of Engineers for using the controversial Nationwide Permit 12 to fast-track authorization of the hotly contested Dakota Access...
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As the February 1 Iowa Caucuses loom, the Hawkeye State sits as the proverbial last man standing in the decision whether to grant pipeline giant Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) a permit for its Dako...
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An attorney in Lee County, Iowa has decided not to press charges against a right-of-way contracting company working on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners, owner of the controversial proposed Dakota...
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By David Goodner Texas-based Fortune 500 company Energy Transfer Partners claims to have signed voluntary easement agreements with nearly 60 percent of Iowa landowners in the path of the propose...
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By Steve Horn and David Goodner A DeSmog investigation has uncovered the identity of a land agent and the contract company he works with that allegedly offered to buy an Iowa farmer the services o...
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By David Goodner and Steve Horn  Everyday Iowa voters are less likely to caucus for former Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry “because of his involvement” with a contro...
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By David Goodner Energy Transfer Partners, a Fortune 500 corporation attempting to build a controversial crude oil pipeline through the state of Iowa, has hired Governor Terry Branstad´s former chi...
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By David Goodner When 24-year old Iowa native Kevin Rutledge first heard that former Texas governor and potential Republican Party presidential candidate Rick Perry had been appointed to the Board...
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By David Goodner  Rick Perry's Iowa spokesman says the potential presidential candidate won't publicly advocate for the controversial Bakken oil pipeline project he has a personal stake in as newl...
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By David Goodner Former Texas governor Rick Perry's recent appointment to the board of Energy Transfer Partners, a company attempting to build a Bakken oil pipeline through Iowa, could hurt him in...
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Additional Reporting by David Goodner Former Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry has joined the board of directors at Energy Transfer Partners, a natural gas and propane company headquartered in ...