Now a project that the government swore would only cost $7.4 billion has soared to $21.4 billion. And it is not even half finished.
On March 25, 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. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full environmental review of the pipeline project.
President Trump is moving to speed up pipeline construction just as the public is waking up to the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. This is exactly the moment to move pipeline fights to a new level, by meeting the need for networking.
“We doubled production and got $9.5 billion less in royalties,” said Hughes. “We are not getting anything for the resource, and its production is having a huge impact on our GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions.” “Obviously we have to ramp production down, and we have to ramp down personal oil consumption.”
In Canada, armed forces raided native Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia Monday, with at least 14 arrests being reported. Land defenders faced off with Royal Canadian Mounted Police as the police breached two checkpoints set up to keep pipeline workers out of protected territory.
A day before a federal court reaffirmed Bayou Bridge LLC could keep building an oil pipeline through Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin, I stood on a cypress tree stump there, viewing the destroyed trees which pipeline opponents were trying to save.
Less than a week after construction began on the controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana, a coalition of crawfishers and environmental groups took legal steps to immediately shut down the project.
The Standing Rock standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline was a reminder that colonization, and resistance to it, both exist in the present tense. Fossil fuel pipelines that despoil indigenous lands and waters have become key flashpoints in long-standing anti-colonial resistance. An important precursor and inspiration for the Standing Rock camp is an indigenous occupation in northern British Columbia, Canada.
Bayou LaFourche also happens to lie along a route of great interest to Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The company wants to lay pipe a few feet under the mud as part of the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Activists call the Bayou Bridge Pipeline the “tail end of the black snake” — the Dakota Access Pipeline is the head. Bayou Bridge would funnel 480,000 barrels of oil per day over the final 162 miles to refineries in St. James. On the way, it would pass through eight watersheds and many fragile wetlands.
A crude oil pipeline operated by Trilogy Energy Corp has released an unknown volume of oil emulsion, a mixture of oil and produced water, into surrounding marshland, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator.
By almost any of the conventional measures of cultural and economic influence, the clash over water security and heritage between a tiny North Dakota Native American tribe and a wealthy and well-connected Texas pipeline operator would appear hopelessly tilted one way.
In North Dakota, indigenous activists are continuing to protest the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which they say would threaten to contaminate the Missouri River.