The following is an excerpt from BBC.com | January 24, 2017 |
Donald Trump's dramatic unblocking of the Dakota Access Pipeline project has set the stage for a new confrontation with native Americans and environmentalists.
He signed permits for both Dakota and the Keystone XL pipelines within days of taking office as US president.
What is Dakota Access?
A $3.7bn (£2.8bn) pipeline is planned at nearly 1,200 miles (1,900km) long to transport some 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day across four states, from North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois, where it can be shipped to refineries.
The pipeline would provide a more cost-effective, efficient means of transporting crude, rather than shipping barrels by train.
The project, built by a subsidiary of Texas-based company Energy Transport Partners (ETP), would also increase profit margins for oil companies while crude prices are low.
Most of the pipeline has already been built but the section closest to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation was still awaiting federal approval.
Why was it suspended?
The US Army Corps of Engineers, which has approval authority, suspended the project last year saying further analysis was needed.
The decision came after months of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters, who set up a Sacred Stone spiritual camp near the Missouri river.
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