The article begins with the announcement that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) recently celebrated its first anniversary around the time of June 4th, 2018. There was much controversy surrounding this pipeline. There were protests against it, but eventually, it was decided that there would be a pipeline. It then asks the question, what has happened with the DAPL in its inaugural year?
Next, the article goes on to talk about ho the DAPL has been transferring crude oil from the Bakken fields with a rate of more than 500,000 barrels of oil a day. This has lead to a large increase in North Dakota’s daily production numbers. The Dakota Access Pipeline has helped North Dakota achieve a production number of 1.16 million barrels a day in March 2018. This pipeline had helped to strengthen the United State’s domestic energy independence and this helps to lessen the dependency on other countries for oil.
Then, the article begins to discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline’s safety record and how impressive it has been. The pipeline has had no big accidents thus far aside from a few minor leaks that were fixed quickly at its source. Even then, only gallons were lost instead of barrels. In the first six months of DAPL being in service, it only lost less than four barrels of oil and was able to transport 61.25 million barrels during those first six months.
Thankfully, the company that built the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, went further than most companies and went beyond federal safety regulations. They built the pipe with 50% thicker materials than that was required in its more sensitive areas and extensively tested each piece that was welded. The company also installed the pipeline between 95 and 115 feet below the Missouri river to help preserve the drinking water there.
Despite these positive record of the Dakota Access Pipeline, those who oppose it claim that the pipeline is not safe and is hazardous to public health. The government shows data that says otherwise and continues to prove that pipelines can be very safe when built correctly. Pipelines continue to be the safest means of moving large amounts of oil from place to place. So long as they are built well, the risks will stay low and they will be safe for those around it.
The article then goes on to further defend the use of pipelines. Without pipelines, oil would have to be transported on train cars, semi-trucks, and barges all of which are far less safe than pipelines. The United States is continuing to produce more and more oil every year and needs safe ways to transport it. The United States produced 17.6 barrels a day in 2018 and the number will continue to rise.
If the United States wants to continue growing its oil numbers, then the oil industry needs to have more safe and efficient pipelines to transport all that oil. Since it is going to be quite a while before we can use other sources of energy, we need to rely on oil for now. Pipelines like the DAPL have much to celebrate being a safe way to move oil. It has also created about 10,000 jobs and has generated millions of dollars for the economy. It is a reminder that all other pipelines need to operate this day and become even safer in the future.