Bakken Pipeline Moves Closer to Reality

Date: April 06, 2016 Last Edit: April 07, 2016

Iowa opponents vow to continue fight.

Bakken Pipeline Moves Closer to Reality

The Iowa Utilities Board voted to approve the Bakken Pipeline through the state, though opponents are saying they will continue to fight.

The 1,168-mile pipeline will transport oil from northwest North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to southern Illinois.

Backers say the project will benefit Iowa’s economy by creating construction jobs and generating taxes. The company behind the $3.8 billion project, Energy Transfer Partners of Texas, says moving oil shipments from trains to the pipeline will help ease transportation shortages for agriculture.

But other Iowans object to the idea of giving up their property rights for the pipeline and fear damage to their land or the environment. Last year, farmland owners in Buena Vista County, Cherokee County and Boone County sued the Iowa Utilities Board, saying the board doesn’t have authority to grant eminent domain for the pipeline, but a judge dismissed the case. More lawsuits are likely, and state and federal permits still must be granted.

Last month, the company behind the project said it has secured voluntary easements for 82 percent of the pieces of land it needs in Iowa, according to The Des Moines Register.

The pipeline would cross through 18 Iowa counties: Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Sac, Calhoun, Webster, Boone, Story, Polk, Jasper, Mahaska, Keokuk, Wapello, Jefferson, Van Buren and Lee. Construction could begin as soon as spring.

Related Content: Small Business News | Energy | Iowa

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