The Lowdown on the Dakota Access Pipeline

Photo taken from I own no rights to it. 

So it’s all over the news today, the U.S. just granted the final permit to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. You may or may not have heard about it over the past year or so- and I’m guessing you probably have. So, you have questions like…”Well, what the heck is the Dakota Access Pipeline, is it bad for the environment, and why is everyone so upset about it?”

Lucky for you… I sort of have some answers.

So here is why it’s bad: 

According to the official Dakota Access Pipeline facts website it’s not harmful to the environment and it doesn’t touch the Standing Rock Reservation. They claim that it’s “It will be among the safest, most technologically advanced pipelines in the world.” But last year there were approximately 27 pipeline leaks, how can we trust what they say?

The Sioux Native Americans are worried that if the pipe leaks, it will spread to their reservation and their water supply; they have every right to worry. We have no proof that this pipeline will be better than the rest. It is also being built on sacred land that was promised to the Sioux tribe in the 1891 Treaty of Laramie.

The pipeline will be horrible for climate change. If completed, the DAPL would carry 470,000 – 570,000 barrels of Bakken shale oil to market. The extracted oil, once processed, transported, and burned, would release 101.4 million metric tons of CO2 each year. This is the equivalent of the emissions from 29.5 coal plants or 21.4 million cars per year.

And here is why it’s good: 

If built, the DAPL would create 8,000-12,000 immediate jobs for Americans. It would add $129 million to U.S. annual tax revenue. Once the pipeline is operational, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois may earn $50 million annually in property taxes and $74 million in sales taxes.  The increased revenue would improve schools, roads, and emergency services in those areas. Moving oil by pipeline instead of railroad will ease transportation shortages for other major regional industries including agriculture.

It will make us more independent. It will reduce oil imports from the Middle East, Russia, and everywhere else.

It will be more environmentally friendly…. sort of. A review that was done by the US Department of Transportation proved that pipelines result in fewer spillage incidents and personal injuries than road and rail. So this means that transferring oil by train or truck causes more spills than the pipeline would. It would also have a lower carbon footprint.

So, what do I think? I think there are good sides and bad to any situation. What matters is that we do our research and don’t fight something we know nothing about. Though, it goes both ways. Don’t let things happen that you don’t agree with. Stand up and fight.


Let me know what you think in the comments below!




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