The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172-mile pipeline with aims to move crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline aims to 'enable crude oil to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective manner'. The major issues being raised regarding this project are:

1. The pipeline's possible contamination to major waterways.

2. The pipeline construction will disturb sacred lands and burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

3. The development of new oil pipelines strengthens the US fossil fuel industry, instead of moving towards a more environmentally sustainable future of renewable energy.

Update: On Dec 4, the US Army Corps of Engineers rejected an application that would have allowed the proposed the pipeline to tunnel underneath North Dakota's Lake Oahe. However in a recent statement, Energy Transfer Partners, the DAPL's developers, indicated that they don't intend to reroute the line. Native activists are worried that President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming administration could reverse the decision. Trump has both supported and invested in the pipeline in the past.

 
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What Will a Trump Presidency Mean for the Dakota Access Pipeline?

NBCNEWS, Nov 12 2016

> CEO Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer Partners — the Dallas-based company funding the $3.7 billion project donated to Trump's campaign.

> Trump's campaign financial disclosure forms revealed the President-elect's investments totaling between $500,000 and $1 million in Energy Transfer Partners, suggesting a possible vested financial interest in the completion of the pipeline.

 
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The Historic Victory at Standing Rock

The Atlantic, 5 Dec 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has legally blocked the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, denying it a needed easement to drill beneath the Missouri River.

The corps will now investigate and write an environmental-impact statement, a roughly two-year process that will assess the risks of building a pipeline so close to the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply. It will specifically examine whether the pipeline should be moved or cancelled altogether.

 
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North Dakota Oil Pipeline Battle: Who’s Fighting and Why

NY Times, Aug 26 2016

Pipeline spills and ruptures occur regularly. Sometimes the leaks are small, and sometimes they are catastrophic gushers. In 2013, a Tesoro Logistics pipeline in North Dakota broke open and spilled 865,000 gallons of oil onto a farm. In 2010, an Enbridge Energy pipeline dumped more than 843,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, resulting in a cleanup that lasted years and cost more than a billion dollars, according to Inside Climate News.