Dakota Access Pipeline
The Dakota Access Pipeline is an integral part of America’s energy-freedom plan. Before the pipeline, the country relied upon many outside sources for fuel. The project is adding almost 200 million barrels of crude to the system. Even though that may seem like a lot, it still lags behind the volume retrieved from the Gulf and the Longhorn state, but the supply is helping ease the dependence on foreign suppliers.

The supply comes from a shared field located underneath North Dakota and Canada. The neighbors to the north operate their own lines. Leaders in the field have noted that the supply is robust enough to supply both countries for decades.

During the construction process, the company took the highest level of precautions and exceeded many government limits. Today, they still operate at that level. The goal was to protect the land and people, and they did that by employing technology and fabrication. The pipes have lost minimal amounts, and that could be due to the quality, thickness, and strength of the steel used. Compared to old-school transportation modes, such as trucks, the Dakota Access Pipeline is a standout in safety because when a leak was found, it was stopped quickly. The breaks only lost gallons of crude, while leaks from trucks or trains can amount to barrels.

A side effect of the build was jobs and money for the surrounding communities via tax dollars. The construction required workers well before any shovel hit the dirt. Engineers and planners had to develop the path and blueprints. Materials and manufacturers needed to be found and priced out. When it came time for the installation, laborers, heavy equipment operators, and managers were called on. Mayors benefited from tax money that the line brought to their base. The company paid property owners along the route for their land.

To get to the finished product, the team worked with entities from big too small. They logged over 500 conferences to engage with city officials, ranchers and farmers, and political figures. Meetings were held for interested citizens and open groups. There were officials and experts available to answer questions. The work was tireless in the beginning, and it still carries on today. Over the construction life, the team garnered over 1,000 clearances by going through various approval, verification, and permitting avenues.

The North Dakota pipeline ends in Illinois. This state is a critical hub for crude and energy. The company worked with established ports. Operators have been working in Illinois for years, and have a refined system of moving energy. They also employ many people, and there are additional workers available because of the robust population. After Illinois, Texas receives the product where that division will garner the final treatment. From that point, it is ready for public consumption.

The leaders have given back along the way and supported veterans, first responders, and other community-based organizations. Many of the donations went to small groups with deep roots in the community. One club in Illinois builds tiny homes for veterans or those in need. There was a need in their county for affordable housing, and the Dakota pipeline family set out to help fill it. In total, $1 million was given to fire, police, and paramedic crews along the path. Other beneficiaries included libraries, youth groups, and sporting arenas.

The story of the North Dakota pipeline is long and winding. The timeframe from when the natural resource was located to the day the first load landed in Illinois was lengthy. It took a team of skilled professionals, state figures, and community workers to take care of the people and land involved. The Dakota Access Pipeline runs approximately 2,000 miles underground.