With environmentalists already furious at Donald Trump for his recent executive orders to reincarnate the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, their anger is set to overflow following news that the completion of the latter may be just a matter of months, if not weeks.
As Reuters reports, while the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline is nearly complete, just one “hotly contested” section under North Dakota’s Lake Oahe that’s been the topic of massive protests, remains unbuilt. The tribe has been concerned that digging the pipeline under a section of the Missouri River would affect the area’s drinking water as well as the supply for 17 million Americans living downstream. A final easement is required for Dakota Access to cross beneath Lake Oahe.
But on Tuesday evening, the Army has allowed the final section to also be completed.
Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer “has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Sen. John Hoeven said in a statement Tuesday cited by CNN. The North Dakota Republican said he spoke with VP Mike Pense and Robert Speer on Tuesday. “The secretary said it will be approved in days, not weeks,” Hoeven spokesman Don Canton said in a separate e- mail.
While the official easement from the Army Corps has not been released, Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer praised Speer’s decision, which will pave the way for the final phase of the controversial $3.7 billion project. Then, moments ago Bloomberg reported that the Army said it has begun steps to review the Dakota Pipeline request.
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