Dakota Ac­cess pipe­line rul­ing sur­prises oil in­dus­try

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

BIS­MARCK | A judge’s rul­ing that might open the door for at least a tem­po­rary shut­down of the dis­puted Dakota Ac­cess pipe­line sur­prised the in­dus­try that hailed the project as a “game changer” for North Dakota oil.

But ship­pers said Thurs­day that they aren’t con­cerned that there will be any long-term dis­rup­tion to ser­vice on the $3.8 bil­lion pipe­line that on June 1 be­gan mov­ing crude from the Bakken oil patch to a dis­tri­bu­tion point in Illi­nois, from which it’s shipped to the Gulf Coast and po­ten­tially high-pay­ing

mar­kets abroad.

“It’s busi­ness as usual to­day,” said Ron Ness, pres­i­dent of the North Dakota Petroleum Coun­cil, which rep­re­sents nearly 500 en­ergy com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Texas-based En­ergy Trans­fer Part­ners, which built Dakota Ac­cess.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge James Boas­berg ruled Wed­nes­day that the Army Corps of En­gi­neers “largely com­plied” with en­vi­ron­men­tal law when ap­prov­ing the pipe­line but didn’t ad­e­quately con­sider some mat­ters im­por­tant to the Stand­ing Rock Sioux.

The tribe draws its wa­ter from Lake Oahe and is op­posed to the pipe­line cross­ing be­neath the Mis­souri River reser­voir in North Dakota.

“Ob­vi­ously, we don’t know how all that plays out,” Mr. Ness said. “But clearly the pipe­line is run­ning. It’s a crit­i­cal el­e­ment of the na­tion’s en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture.”

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