An indigenous woman protests construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline at a November demonstration in Toronto.
[Editor's note: This story was updated from a previous version posted at 4:02 p.m. CT Feb. 7.]
The Dakota Access Pipeline, under siege from environmental protesters for months, is on the verge restarting construction after receiving the final easement necessary to complete construction on Feb. 8.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted the permit for construction of a tunnel under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the last piece of the $3.8 billion project. The Army signaled its intent to approve construction earlier in the week in both a court filing and a letter to chairs and ranking members of the House Natural Resources and Senate Energy & Natural Resources committees.
The action is not surprising, given President Donald Trump’s executive order in late January that instructed the Army to accelerate its decision on the project. The 1,200-mile pipeline, from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to Patoka, Ill., will have a capacity of 570,000 barrels per day.
Energy Transfer Partners LP now has all federal authorizations necessary to quickly complete construction of the pipeline, the company said in a statement.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has said that it will continue to fight any decision to grant a permit, but there was no indication Tuesday on the social media sites of either the tribe or organizations protesting the pipeline of what action it intended to take.
The Army approved permits for the pipeline but then pulled back when the Obama administration asked for further review, a decision roundly seen as unfair by the industry.
“It’s not exactly fair when the government’s helped to approve it, you spend the capex, you then bring the project on,” Jim Simpson, president of East Daley Capital Advisors, recently told Hart Energy.
“The discord we have seen regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline doesn’t serve the tribe, the company, the Corps or any of the other stakeholders involved,” said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., in a statement. “Now, we all need to work together to ensure people and communities rebuild trust and peacefully resolve their differences.”