By Matt Koch, Institute for 21st Century Energy
After a year and a half of review, hearings, and public input sessions, a 1,168-mile pipeline proposed to move American crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois recently received approval from Iowa regulators (Bakken Gets Another Iowa Green Light, Des Moines Register April 8). When completed, the Dakota Access pipeline project will carry up to 570,000 barrels per day of Three Forks and Bakken oil from eastern Montana and North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.
Although the final Army Corp of Engineers permit remains outstanding, the Dakota Access story appears to be heading for a good ending. The willingness and commitment of government and company officials to cooperation, fact gathering, due diligence, finding solutions, relying on expertise, and following a non-political approval process pales in comparison to the six-plus year circus experienced during consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Iowa Utilities Board granted conditional approval of the plans for the Dakota Access project in March, and subsequently issued the final construction permit on April 8. It has already received construction authorization and permits by North Dakota, South Dakota, and Illinois.
The project, which will be constructed by Energy Transfer Partners, was proposed in the summer of 2014 and applications for the project permits were made later that year.
The Dakota Access project is going to bring tremendous benefits to America and our energy security.
After receiving the final permit from the Army Corp of Engineers, construction of the $3.78 billion pipeline is expected to begin this spring. During construction, 8,000-12,000 construction jobs will be created and $156 million will be paid in income and sales taxes to states and local communities.
Dakota Access anticipates being fully operational by years-end 2016. The pipeline is expected to pay $124 million annually in sales and property taxes in the four states that it traverses.
At Patoka, the crude oil will be able to enter the greater U.S. energy transportation network, providing it access to markets in the Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast regions. In addition, it will also alleviate strains on our rail transportation system by reducing the large amounts of crude now being shipped by rail.
If America is going to build the energy infrastructure required to supply our economy and to take advantage of our vast and growing energy resources, we need to rally behind facts, make constructing new infrastructure a priority, reform permitting processes to require decisions in reasonable timeframes, and push back against political activists who distort the system and the truth. Only then can we be certain that that there will be more good Dakota Access-like success stories in the future. See more here.