WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive action on Tuesday to advance the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which was delayed through legal disputes and months of protests.
The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would stretch 1,172 miles through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The pipeline would be able to transport up to 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day from a vast oil reserve detected in the U.S. portion of the Bakken shale oil fields, CNN reported.
The pipeline is completed except for the portion near the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation in North Dakota. The tribe is protesting against the construction of the pipeline, claiming it would put the reservation’s water supply at risk of oil spills, and harm sacred sites. After months of protests and legal disputes, the Department of the Army announced in December last year that it would not allow the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe.
Dakota Access argues that the proposed pipeline would not pose a risk to the water supply as it would be at a depth at least 95 feet below the bottom of Lake Oahe, and would run parallel to the existing Northern Border Pipeline, which has been operating safely for 35 years and is only a few feet below the lake bed. The developer also notes that there are eight pipelines operating under Lake Oahe in total.
Another controversial pipeline, the Keystone XL Pipeline, was also given the green light by President Trump. The proposed pipeline would stretch nearly 1,200 miles across Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.