What is the Bakken Pipeline?

Who proposed it?

  • Dakota Access, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, originated the plans for this pipeline. ETP is based in Houston,Texas, and owns and operates pipelines across the country. Phillips 66 has joined with ETP to finance the project. The company owns and operates many refineries on the Gulf Coast. As of summer 2016, Enbridge now owns 49% of the pipeline.

What is the project?

  • “Dakota Access Pipeline Project” would transport North Dakota crude oil from the Bakken oil reserves to Patoka, Illinois. This in turn gives access to East coast markets by rail, or to pipelines which would carry Bakken crude to the Gulf Coast for refinement and export. You can view ETP’s full petition to the Iowa Utilities Board to construct the pipeline here.
  • The pipeline would be 1,134 miles long, 30 inch in diameter, 24 to 48 inches underground, and will transport 570,000 barrels daily.
  • Bakken crude is more flammable because of a lower flash point to ignition. It poses a significant fire risk.
  • A 150 foot construction right of way and a permanent 50 foot easement is needed for the pipeline. No buildings are permitted on the 50 foot easement.

When would it be built?

  • ETP hopes the pipeline will be in operation by the end of 2016.

Where would it be built, and who would be impacted?

  • Updated maps of the current construction process are available thanks to the Iowa Informer.
  • The proposed pipeline would cut diagonally across the entire state of Iowa, including the following Iowa counties:  Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Sac, Calhoun, Webster, Boone, Story, Polk, Jasper, Mahaska, Keokuk, Wapello, Jefferson, Van Buren, and Lee.
  • The pipeline will cross all major watersheds in Iowa, including many of those with already impaired waterways.
  • Condemnation hearings are underway to condemn  farmland through eminent domain if landowners do not comply with the acquisition of land by ETP.
  • Constructing this pipeline in Iowa endorses the environmental destruction at the Bakken shale extraction sites,
    which impact the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.
  • The pipeline reinforces continued reliance on a fossil fuel economy that has overwhelmingly contributed to
    global climate change and the associated impacts on people across the globe.

Why is the approval of the Bakken Pipeline bad for Iowans?

  • Landowners are having their property rights seized via eminent domain.
  • Job creation benefits are minimal: full-time permanent positions for Iowans created as a result of the pipeline are estimated at less than ten; Iowans will bear the cost of producing profits for out-of-state corporations.
  • Oil will likely be transported to the Gulf Coast and exported; this is not about energy independence.
  • Spills and leaks from the pipeline would impact all Iowans, threatening wildlife, water quality, and land integrity.
  • Clean-up efforts at spills in North Dakota and Michigan have lasted for years and cost millions to taxpayers.

We can stop this!

Our power is in our numbers. To date, thousands of Iowans and supporters across the country have signed a petitions copposing the Pipeline, attended public meetings hosted by ETP to ask tough questions about the project’s impact on Iowa and beyond, provided testimony at the IUB hearings, organized opposition meetings, participated in flotillas, pledged civil disobedience, partnered with our relatives at the Camp of Sacred Stones, and more.

Learn how you can take action against the pipeline here.

Looking for more information?

Find statistics on economics, watch a video about what it means to be a good neighbor in Iowa, view a map of the proposed route, and more by checking out our For Landowners & Citizens page.