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Dakota Access Pipeline gets start date

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline is scheduled to start transporting oil on 14 May, according to Reuters.

Energy Transfer Partners LP has filed a ‘tariff’ with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, laying out details about the pipeline and the quantities of oil it will transport.

It marks another landmark in the story of the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The project became the focus of international attention in 2016, after a Native American tribe sued to block the final link of the pipeline running through the remote Standing Rock region of North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux say the area is sacred ground, and leaks from the pipeline could poison their water supply.

Supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux have also argued that the completion of the massive pipeline would further the US’ reliance on fossil fuels, possibly encouraging climate change.

When operational, the $3.8 billion (EUR 3.6 billion), 1,172-mile (1,885 km) pipeline will transport 500,000 barrels of oil a year down the eastern section of the US.

One of the last moves of President Obama’s administration was to put plans for the pipeline on hold while the permits which had been issued to allow the pipe to run through Standing Rock were reconsidered. President Trump quickly reversed that decision, signing an executive order shortly after coming to office which overruled Obama’s decision and allowed the pipeline to be completed.