Controversial Oil Pipeline Bringing Prosperity to North Dakota
Even though the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline project has been operational for only the last six months, it is already bringing substantial prosperity to North Dakota.
The oil production has surged, specifically 78,000 more barrels of oil were produced daily between September and October. The state also has 15 more drilling rigs operating this January compared to last year.
Energy companies are saving costs on energy transportation. The oil is also no longer being moved to the Gulf Coast, where it’s much more money.
North Dakota’s state revenue has spiked by $43.5 million in the first five months that the pipeline was operating. The state is also expected to see $210 million to $250 million in additional tax revenue during this period.
“That’s exceeded expectations,” said Ryan Rauschenberger, the tax commissioner.
The pipeline project has led to significant job growth too. There are 850 wells need fracking crews.
In January, President Donald Trump signed two presidential memoranda in support of both the Dakota and Keystone XL pipelines.
This was the start of the end of the suspension that was put in place on Dakota pipeline project by the US Army Corps of Engineers last year.
Environmental groups spent significant efforts to fight the decision to continue the project due to its potential impact on the environment, drinking water, and the damage that would be done to the sacred burial sites in the route of the pipeline.
Thousands stood in protest of the pipeline, some even got violent. The protests ended up costing taxpayers millions for the law enforcement efforts and the on-going cleanup.
Proponents argued that the pipeline was necessary to provide a more cost-effective and efficient means of transporting crude oil, instead of relying heavily on trains.
On June 1, 2017, the pipeline officially became operational.
Although environmentalists continue to fight against the energy companies, the pipeline has been a victory for the environment in another regard, along with public safety. Only two trains pass through daily, versus the 12 that did in the past the last time the oil production was this high. This means there are less oil spill accidents and CO2 emissions.
Author’s note: It looks as though the pipeline profit is exceeding expectations. This is just the beginning too.
Editor’s note: Here’s a fun fact for you. The world produces 96 million barrels of oil per day. The U.S. consumes 19.7 million barrels per day. North Dakota is now shipping about 1.2 million barrels per day. At $60 per barrel, this means about $26 billion a year is flowing through the pipeline, which is roughly equivalent to North Dakota’s entire GDP.