Illinois Dakota Access Pipeline Expansion Approved In Misguided Decision

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline expansion in the Prairie State today.

The approval comes after a court decision vacating the previous approval, because the prior approval did not demonstrate how the expansion benefited Illinoisians and the ICC failed to consider the troubling record of the pipeline operator.

In January 2022, the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court vacated the approval of the pipeline expansion and remanded it back to the ICC. The suit was brought by Save Our Illinois Land (SOIL), the Sierra Club, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), and area landowner William Klingele.

Following are quotes from the litigants: 

“This decision shows the ICC’s continued favoritism toward business interests at the expense of Illinois citizens. It endangers us all,” said Deni Mathews, chairperson of Save Our Illinois Land. “Instead of evaluating the full impact of such projects, we are left to grapple with the continued effect of carbon pollution on our air, water, and soil. Carbon emissions increase while our earth’s climate systems are providing clear evidence that we must stop.”

“In signing off yet again on this reckless expansion of the Dakota Access pipeline, the ICC is putting critical water resources at even greater risk,” said Catherine Collentine, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign. “From the beginning, DAPL has threatened clean drinking water and trampled on Indigenous rights. Allowing even more dirty oil to run through it could be disastrous for communities along its route. We will continue to work to shut down this dangerous oil pipeline altogether.”

“This pipeline expansion threatens our health, our climate, and Illinois’ waters,” said J.C. Kibbey, IL clean energy advocate at NRDC. “There are few, if any, benefits to the people of this state, but the massive risks to Illinois are clear. While we bear the risk, big out-of-state fossil fuel companies reap the profits.”

Background: The Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline expansion would increase the flow of oil in the pipeline from 570,000 barrels to as much as 1.1 million barrels of crude through the 30-inch diameter pipeline daily. The Dakota Access Pipeline is an infamous conduit, which gained national attention in 2016 when the Standing Rock Sioux stood up against the dangerous placement of the pipeline near their reservation, stretches 1,172 miles across four states.

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Featured Image via Wikipedia, Dakota Access Pipeline, Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851) boundary which Dave Archambault II invoked, opposing any pipeline construction within that area.[3] courtesy of Public domain This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1927.


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