Dakota Access Ignores President; If Stopped, What to Do with Pipe Laid in SD?

Some Aberdeen neighbors gathered at the courthouse yesterday afternoon to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Among the many reasons we should oppose this pipeline—eminent domain for private profit, addiction to fossil fuels, risk to clean water, militarized violence against protestors—we should add defying the President of the United States:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed to DeSmog that Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, has ignored the Obama administration’s September 9 request to voluntarily halt construction in a disputed area, 20 miles east and west of Lake Oahe and the Missouri River.

The confirmation came in the aftermath of a video published by drone pilot Shiyé Bidziil on the news website Indian Country Today titled, “Drone Footage of Dakota Access Pipeline Approaching Missouri River.” Published November 2, this video offers an airborne view of pipeline construction — coupled with heavily guarded concrete fortresses around key construction locales — in close proximity to the Missouri River [Steve Horn, “Dakota Access Pipeline Builder Ignored Obama Admin Request to Halt Construction,” DeSmogBlog, 2016.11.05].

I’d love to hear President Obama step in and say, “This time, I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.”

But suppose we do stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. What happens to the hundreds of miles of pipe already in the ground? The pipe is all laid in South Dakota—perhaps we turn that East River hypotenuse into a high-speed transit system to shoot hunters one at a time from Sioux Falls to Winfred, Redfield, and Herreid for pheasant season?


127 Responses to Dakota Access Ignores President; If Stopped, What to Do with Pipe Laid in SD?

  1. That is absolutely the finest idea that anyone has had since this pipeline fiasco began. I’m not a bird hunter but I would sell everything I own and spend the rest of my life on the street just to ride that thing one time.

  2. Donald Pay

    Obama is such a ditz. He thinks these fossil fuel boys are reasonable folks willing to wait around until the Corps decides they are going to shift the route a few miles here or there. Uh, no. That’s not the way it works. These are multi-billion dollar oligarchs running this pipeline, and they bought and paid for the government to do their bidding, not the other way around. If Obama wants to get their attention he’d lock one or two up, but hoping they would be reasonable isn’t going to get us the change we can believe in.

  3. Paul Seamans

    If the DAPL is not shipping oil by Jan 1, 2017 then shippers are allowed to renegotiate their contracts which were signed when oil was in the $100/barrel range.

    The next important date for DAPL is around mid-March. If the pipeline is not done by then DAPL has to reapply for a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

  4. We buy the pipe back. Simple stuff. Buy it back and reclaim the property molested. Take the pipe and reroute it in such a way that it more or less follows the old ETSI line. A straight run to the refineries in North Dakota, and Wyoming to the south, Montana to the west, and then ship by rail.

  5. mike from iowa

    If DAPL is digging on federal land w/o requisite permits that is trespassing and the Morton Co High Sheriff should be siccing attack dogs and shooting rubber bullets and arresting these korporate law breakers.

  6. mike from iowa

    The key word is ‘voluntary,’ and the company chose to proceed with construction. As to why they did this, you will have to contact Energy Transfer Partners to ask that question.”

    Pretty simple, really. DAPL is judge shopping for a sympathetic judge who will claim the pipeline has been built too far to stop or change routes.

    If DAPL could get jurisdiction into a Texas court, this discussion would be moot.

  7. No, Mr. jerry, We will not buy the pipe back. You can buy it back if you’d like, but just like the forced union dues bill where the unions want to freeload and get money from people who do not like what they do, you can’t make me pay for pipes.

  8. Oh, it will not be me who makes you pay for anything, it will be your taxes. You will pay for the pipe and love every minute of the act. This is part of living in a union and you are right once again that it is up to us to pay the tax dues to the freeloaders that put the pipe in the ground in the first place. Wow, you are very heavy with your insight on the sharing of solidarity today, you must have either gotten some lovin or had a good breakfast.

  9. Roger Elgersma

    Who ever thought of, approved, paid for, and built a pipeline that crosses the same river twice is not thinking with a full deck. That pipeline started on the right side of the river and should have stayed on the right side of the river and never even thought of risking the pollution of one of our biggest rivers.

  10. I did not know that, Mr. Elgersma. That is interesting. Since these companies rarely do anything that isn’t the most cost effective way to do things, I bet you a wet breakfast biscuit that somehow it was cheaper to cross the river twice than to go around.

  11. Maybe the plan was always to have the government pay for it on a cost plus basis kind of like the plan for NAFTA to pay for the Keystone XL. The only way oil companies make money is through subsidies, kind of like the rest of so called private enterprises do it.

  12. Korey Jackson

    Seriously:

    What is the potential impact on the hundreds of South Dakota landowners, farmers, and ranchers who have DAPL easements crossing their property?

    Could the easement revert back to the landowner?

  13. Whomever has one of these contracts would be able to see if there is a clause for abandonment of the purpose of the easement. It looks like they have that easement in place forever or until you join in some class action to take your property back. https://www.ewu.edu/Documents/CBPA/NWTTAP/ROW/Rights%20of%20Way%20-%20Landowner's%20Guide.pdf

  14. mike from iowa

    http://www.themudflats.net/archives/47925

    Standing Rock gets some love from Alaska. This writer, Shannyn Moore, is good.

  15. Robert McTaggart

    Stopping the pipeline does not mean that an alternative means of powering transportation would be ready to go. However, building the infrastructure to support said alternative means would definitely reduce the need for a pipeline. Efforts are better spent on the latter.

  16. Cory: “I’d love to hear President Obama step in and say, “This time, I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.””

    I’m not sure you really would want to hear that from President Obama, because if he was saying those words it suggests he isn’t following the legal process and instead is attempting to dictate the process. Do we really want to set a precedent where a President can simply ignore established law and dictate specific actions?

    My understanding is that permits were legally obtained, approvals were granted, the route was established (and rerouted numerous times based upon demands of counties, states, landowners, various tribes, regulatory agencies etc.), and over 90% of it is already completed. Seems a bit late for people to start complaining now when they ignored the discussions two years ago doesn’t it?

    I try to be sympathetic, but I don’t hear anyone suggesting how we can reduce our demand for oil. I just hear the equivalent of “‘we want your oil and we are ok with it being delivered via train car or tanker truck, but we don’t want your pipeline in our backyard”. NIMBYism has never impressed me – if someone has a complaint I take them more seriously when the offer alternative solutions.

  17. Daniel Buresh

    Why should we give options to people who avoid the process? Cory, Imagine you starting a renewable energy business, buy property, do all the studies and get all the permits you need. Have meetings with people in the neighborhood for a couple years and then begin building your building. Once you are ready to finish off the interior, protesters show up. Should you have everything you planned and built stopped because someone didn’t want to get involved until you were about done? Why is this OK now? The specific business or industry is completely irrelevant at this point, should someone not involved in any of the process be able to forcibly stop a project on their own moral grounds at such a late point? What does this mean for any sort of development project if such a precedence is set? Can we stop any project if we just use enough force?

  18. mike from iowa

    Buresh-why do you get to set the statute of limitations on protectors? Did some authority die a leave you in charge?

  19. Robert McTaggart

    There are no quick fixes for getting us off of oil, and trying to stop a pipeline is a quick fix with unintended consequences. Like less funding from sales tax due to everyone staying home due to higher gas prices.

    Unfortunately it will take time and money to build that new infrastructure. In the meantime we can use oil more safely and efficiently.

  20. Daniel Buresh

    Mike, if you don’t want to have an actual discussion with Craig or myself about the ramifications of such a thing, just go away.

  21. mike from iowa

    The corps also has been threatened with a lawsuit by the North Dakota-based Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which says the agency must closely assess the impact on the tribe’s drinking water and historic sites on its ancestral lands.
    “These fundamental concerns have never been rectified,” attorneys for the tribe wrote in an April 26 letter. “While corps staff came out to visit the site, these actions took place only after fundamental decisions had been made about the pipeline’s routing without consulting the tribe.”

  22. mike from iowa

    Now you are trying to limit the conversation to you and Greg, As I asked before, who died and left you in charge?

  23. Did anyone else notice in the drone footage that the pipeline is built directly underneath high-power electric tranmission lines? That could be an explosion waiting to happen, knocking many off the electrical grid.

  24. Daniel Buresh

    I’ll just ignore you then, Mike. Cory, my questions stand. Do you feel the process we have in place should be so easily circumvented because people are willing to push their agendas through force? At what point do their concerns get voided?

  25. Douglas Wiken

    These pipelines will not lower gas prices here in the midwest. They are designed to get crude out of here in order to increase prices.

  26. Leo – do you really think that is a valid concern? If so, are you also concerned with the oil filled train cars that would travel under those transmission lines without even the protection or buffer of soil? What about the countless trucks full of oil that pass under them daily on our highways?

    Come on – in the scope of things that isn’t even a legitimate complaint. Pipelines are proven to be safer than alternative means of transport which means there is less chance of a spill or accident which means those transmission line are in less danger with a pipeline and more danger if we continue shipping oil via truck and rail. Also, oil pipelines don’t generally just explode. The greatest risk is a leak. On the other hand when a train derails the chances of a spark resulting in an explosion is greater. So you can decide for yourself which method you deem to be less of a risk, but statistically as long as we continue to demand oil, we are better off with pipelines.

  27. Robert McTaggart

    Douglas,

    Once processed, everything gets mixed up in the global supply and demand. If you stop all pipelines everywhere, then that is definitely going to impact prices.

  28. Daniel Buresh

    Making sure we export to countries is important because they will go after our supplies if we don’t. Oil is a global commodity so not acknowledging the needs of other countries will eventually fall back on ourselves. Even if we increase production here and that all goes elsewhere, that is ultimately delaying price increases as demand grows because we aren’t competing as much as we would.

  29. mike from iowa

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/07/damage-reported-no-injuries-as-5-0-earthquake-rattles-central-oklahoma.html

    3 km from Cushing where dilbit gets sent. Ibelieve this is the third 5 magnitude earthquake in OK in recent years-all since they began fracking which everyone knows doesn’t cause earthquakes.

    For you pipeline lovers out there- has there ever been a pipeline that hasn’t leaked?

  30. Craig, even the GOP controlled PUC in Iowa thinks that it is a concern. Landowner Cyndy Coppola, the Iowa landowner who got arrested on her own farm mentioned in an interview with Lee Camp that had she approved Wind Farm development on her property two years ago the pipeline would not have been built because of the electrical concern.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30E26OWdjMU

  31. Robert McTaggart

    Mike,

    “For you pipeline lovers out there- has there ever been a pipeline that hasn’t leaked?”

    You can’t have gas for your car without the infrastructure that delivers said fuel to you. You can however support better safety, maintenance, repair, and replacement to reduce the frequency of leaks.

  32. Porter Lansing

    Buresh … If you make a plan to build and you have meetings and get approval but part of your plan involves going through a foreign country, does that foreign country have to abide by your rules? You’re very good at judging Indians by white standards and woefully lacking in judging Indians by Indian standards, which is what matters, if you intend to infringe on their rights.

  33. Daniel Buresh

    Porter,
    What foreign country is being gone through? This is US land and even if it were sovereign land, which it isn’t going across, that is a big difference than foreign. What rights of theirs are being infringed? Were their attempts to engage the tribe in meaningful discussion not enough?

  34. Porter Lansing

    The foreign country is USA federal land, for which no permits exist and land ceded to the Lakota in the Laramie Treaty of 1851. The rights to protect their ancestors grave sites and the promise of clean water all downstream are being infringed upon. The attempts to engage the tribe with white man’s language and protocol were not enough. Next time ask the tribe what they want to do and if the answer is “stay away” then so be it.
    ~ Your surname is English but I’ll bet there’s a whole lot of German American blood in your intolerant existence.

  35. Porter Lansing

    What do you mean sovereign is different then foreign in this regard? Lakota are a sovereign nation.
    Sovereignty
    The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference.
    Sovereignty is the power of a state to do everything necessary to govern itself, such as making, executing, and applying laws; imposing and collecting taxes; making war and peace; and forming treaties or engaging in commerce with foreign nations.

  36. mike from iowa

    I could argue that, Doc , since my gas is delivered by transport. Having said that, I know the gas travels through some pipeline- I am not opposed to some pipeline. I am opposed to unnecessary pipelines that cross (I believe DAPL applied to cross 2oo bodies of water?) farmland and water sources all the while with the intent to send the oil out of country.

    My county of Obrien in NW iowa has recently had installed 218 yooge wind turbines with 114 on line and the rest to follow shortly.

  37. Mike: “For you pipeline lovers out there- has there ever been a pipeline that hasn’t leaked?”

    If you are claiming that every pipeline leaks… then you have a duty to provide evidence to support it do you not? Either way, when you compare the amount of oil spilled and the risk associated with pipelines against that of trucks and trains it isn’t even close. I provided links in the past… pipelines are 4.5x safer than trains which are safer than trucks. Nothing is 100% safe, but if leaks, spills, accidents, or potential environmental damage are the primary concerns, then pipelines are the best available solution to us today. Unless of course we want to do away with transporting oil – but I don’t think that is feasible in our current world.

  38. Porter Lansing

    Enough of this pipeline misinformation coming from Troy on down the conservative sewer. Your claim of safety is safety to humans not safety to the environment. Pipeline spills are many times more dangerous to the environment than truck or train spills.

  39. Robert McTaggart

    Mike, any re-route will be a longer route, which means more pipeline, which means a higher probability of a leak occurring somewhere along said pipeline….just not in your backyard.

  40. mike from iowa

    According to the same PHMSA dataset, compiled and analysed by the International Energy Agency, U.S. pipelines spilled three times as much crude oil as trains over that eight-year period, even though incidents happened much less frequently. And that eight-year period was dominated by large pipeline spill events, including one that saw 800,000 gallons of Canadian tar sands crude spill in and around the Kalamazoo River, and another 63,000 gallon pipeline spill into the Yellowstone River.

    https://thinkprogress.org/data-oil-trains-spill-more-often-but-pipelines-spill-bigger-9533009d4aba#.hctbvtmx3

  41. mike from iowa

    DAPL runs through Obrien County which is my backyard. Same as Cherokee Co- the county I was born in.

  42. Paul Seamans

    Thanks mike for this information about spills. Pipelines are not safer than rail transportation. Add to that the fact that many pipeline spills are in the neighborhood of rivers and water bodies.

  43. Robert McTaggart

    http://fortune.com/2016/08/28/pipelines-vs-trains-oil-transport/

    http://wtnnews.com/articles/transporting-oil-always-comes-risks-pipelines-safer-efficient/

    Train accidents have a very visible marker of smoke and fire to tell everybody when and where they occur.

  44. mike from iowa

    Enbridge says they had no idea of an oil leak? They couldn’t tell from reduced pressure?

    Train accidents have a very visible marker of smoke and fire to tell everybody when and where they occur.

    What’s this, Doc? The first tie breaker if you consider train/rail v pipeline carry as being equal? :)

  45. mike from iowa

    Thanks, Paul. Here is a little shout out from Shannyn Moore at mudflats.net. This woman is good and she is involved with First Peoples rights and other social issues. Plus she is hell on Big Awl and its supporters in Alaska’s government. She has done wonderful reporting on the aftermath of Exxon Valdez with boots on the ground reporting from Prince William Sound.

    http://www.themudflats.net/archives/47925

  46. Robert McTaggart

    Fire and smoke tend to be great mechanisms for distributing toxic pollutants to the environment. Spills from pipelines in the wrong place are an issue. No perfect answer exists. No such thing as zero risk.

  47. A better solution would be more trains with more transportation available for people and freight on them as well. Public transportation rules and it works very well in places that have it in place now.

  48. Robert McTaggart

    Yes, everybody on the train must carry one secure thermos of crude oil to help out….

  49. Porter: “Your claim of safety is safety to humans not safety to the environment. Pipeline spills are many times more dangerous to the environment than truck or train spills.”

    How do you figure? Most pipeline leaks are detected quickly and result in small spills which are easily contained. If a train derails you not only have a gigantic mess, but you likely end up with property damage, human lives lost, risk of fires and explosions etc. When trucks crash on the highway sure you “only” have one tanker worth of oil spilled, but even that is more than the typical pipeline leak.

    How is this for those safe rail cars? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-M%C3%A9gantic_rail_disaster

    Mike: “U.S. pipelines spilled three times as much crude oil as trains over that eight-year period”

    Mike, you need to consider the amount of oil transported via pipeline vs. trains. To say pipelines spilled “more” is meaningless when they transport the vast majority of oil. I could tell you that there are a lot more car accidents on the highway than there are on the golf course too… because the highways are where the cars are.

    I’ll post this link again since people seem to make unsubstantiated claims: http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/pipelines-much-safer-than-shipping-oil-by-rail-fraser-institute-study-says

    Bottom line – pipelines are better than rail cars. If you want to ship oil via train, it is less efficient, has a higher risk of oil spills and a higher risk to human lives. Let’s quit pretending rail is the panacea which would make pipelines obsolete, because the more train cars you put on our tracks, the more accidents you will see. In fact we have already seen a dramatic increase in derailments with the increase in rail traffic over the past two years. That would only get worse.

    Paul: Pipelines are not safer than rail transportation.”

    Incorrect. See above.

    Paul: “Add to that the fact that many pipeline spills are in the neighborhood of rivers and water bodies.”

    So you’re telling me that train tracks or highways never cross rivers or bodies of water then? It seems to me that everyone clamoring for more trains has never looked at a map.

  50. Dr. McTaggart, that’s a great idea. As long as they were special colored Thermos jugs so people didn’t accidentally drink out of them.

  51. Robert McTaggart

    Well, even if you did color code them, sometimes with coffee it is hard to tell the difference…

  52. mike from iowa

    Craig, I really don’t think you know what unsubstantiated means. If you have a problem with links I share, go auger with those people, not me. See how that works? Where did your bud Buresh run off to?

  53. mike from iowa

    Doc, I’ll bet oil spills in water has a nice rainbow colored sheen like nothing else produces, not to mention sludge and dead fish and birds.

  54. A thermos of oil to carry with each passenger? brilliant doc, it is clear why there is a doctor in front of your name. Then the passengers could disembark and dispense their thermos of oil into containers that would go to the… okay doc, ya lost me, how would that work when they got to their destination?

  55. I clamor for more trains because I actually look at maps. I see that maps show where towns and cities are. Back in the day, each village had oil storage for heating and for farm machinery that were delivered by rail. Then we lost them and here is where we are.

    Bring back the rails, and then add more as we are more people. Deliver the oil to the locations needed along with humans and freight. It would be even cooler if we used bus travel to take from the stations to destinations where there are no rail systems. Yes Craig, you want solutions but you really do not want to hear about them. Bill Janklow understood all of that and managed to save what little we have left for the future. Get on the love train man.

  56. Robert McTaggart

    Jerry, if your interest is in reducing risk, probably you don’t want to transport a lot of fuel along with the passengers.

    Mike, that actually brings up a good point. You can probably see oil spills via remote sensing due to those properties….once they get to the surface.

  57. Paul Seamans

    I have made this statement many times. The phmsa site says that considering barrels transported that pipelines leak more oil than does rail shipment. One spill like at Kalamazoo will equal many rail cars of oil.

  58. There are several articles that agree with you Mr. Seamans. I think that rail is not only the safest, but the most reliable way to get the oil to where it needs to go. I would also like to see more rails built in this country to carry passengers on separate high and moderate speed rail as well as a sharing of oil carrying cars and freight to help save the highways that over weight trucks are beating the hell out of. No more pipelines to be built while eliminating the ones the exist right now that are rotting in their graves.

  59. Robert McTaggart

    But not every spill is like the one at Kalamazoo. What happens when you subtract out Kalamazoo-like spills (take out the highs and the lows)?

    Instead of beating up roadways you will be beating up the rails, so pick your poison. Nevertheless, there some are benefits of more rail transportation, like sleeping or doing work while in motion, enjoying the view, etc….which unfortunately happen way too often while some drive.

  60. Paul Seamans

    Robert McTaggart, phmsa does not take out the highs and lows. They consider all spills

    The spill at Kalamazoo was figured at 880,000 to one million gallons. Over two years ago there was a 840,000 spill at Tioga, ND. They are still cleaning it up. They have dug down 50 feet to get the contaminated soil. This was on a Tesoro pipeline. The leak was only discovered when the landowner was combining the field and noticed oil on the tires. Tesoro was clueless about the leak.

    On pipeline spills it is difficult to estimate the gallons spilled. I am guessing that pipeline owners will estimate on the low end. When a rail car spills you pretty know how much has spilled. PHMSA estimates that only about 15% of spilled oil is ever recovered. So much for spill cleanup.

  61. Robert McTaggart

    ..and you can guess who would estimate things on the high end.

    If you are trying to make predictions or comparisons based on statistics, the outliers can pose a challenge. If a few incidents are a certain number standard deviations away from the mean, then one often removes them from the statistical analysis.

    In particular, it would be of interest to examine the statistics for pipelines that are below a certain age that undergo a specified regimen of maintenance and repair, and have certain monitoring procedures implemented. Same thing for rail transport. I would suspect that preventative measures and age of the pipeline will have an impact on the statistics. Past a certain age it will be better to simply replace different sections.

  62. Rails would be built heavy to take multi use like the ones in the high speeds in Europe and in the middle speed lines for freight and local train travels. Makes a difference in how the roads are used as well with lower loads on the trucks, highways last longer with much less maintenance. No poison to it, ride the rails is the way to go. Bus lines would take the people from depots to their destinations in the outlying villages, just like in Europe.

  63. Robert McTaggart

    The maintenance needs do not disappear when the passengers are taken off the roads. They are just different.

  64. Yes, very different and much cheaper and way faster.

  65. Robert McTaggart

    Those new rail cars are still not as safe as the ones used to transport nuclear waste. But those are likely too expensive for regular commercial use.

  66. Plenty safe and would do much better while we transition ourselves from the use of either one of those killers.

    Put the oil in rail cars and then travel like you can do in other places. http://www.raileurope-world.com/plan-your-trip/interactive-travel-map/

  67. Robert McTaggart

    …I note that they PROMISE the new rail cars for oil will be safer. They should be, but they are not in widespread use yet.

    They certainly will cost more…which is likely why they have encountered some resistance.

  68. Paul Seamans

    Jerry, thanks for the link to the story about safer rail cars to transport crude oil.

    It seems that building new rail cars will create more jobs that the seasonal jobs associated with laying a pipeline.

  69. There is proof that they are safer. The rails say they promise they are, show me where your industry promises they won’t have a meltdown or show where a pipe line promises they won’t leak.

  70. Robert McTaggart

    They can still corrode over time. They can collide with another train. People can neglect to pay for the requisite testing and maintenance, or make mistakes during either. So the technology is just one piece of the whole puzzle, how you deal with people and double-check things is the other.

    Things like Fukushima and Chernobyl were people problems, not technology problems. People decided not to stow backup diesel power systems properly to protect against tsunami, or to build 6 reactors in one location and staff them as if only one could ever have a major problem. People decided to run unwarranted tests on a working reactor, and then not inform neighboring nations about what was happening. People also selected a Russian reactor design with a positive void coefficient that was not as safe.

    So I don’t think anyone can honestly speak of absolutes, but risk management techniques typically keep the probabilities of occurrence below a certain level. People decide what level is tolerable, and how much they are going to pay to achieve that number. Technically if you want zero risk, you will need an infinite amount of money to achieve that.

  71. Train travel is faster than air travel in many many cases. Pull the pipe and melt it down to make rails, recycle is always the best way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDHsN2_9amo

  72. I am all for more trains if it means less trucks. But clearly pipes are the best. My friend Bob has often lamented my lack of appreciation for pipes, but here they are the best delivery mechanism.

  73. Robert McTaggart

    http://breakingenergy.com/2016/11/07/us-nuclear-retirements-largely-replaced-by-fossil-fuels/

    Sorry Jerry, it doesn’t look like renewables are replacing nuclear when it is shut down. Although more renewable energy is being built, natural gas largely makes up the difference in the output that is lost.

    Nuclear may need to consider some amount of load-following to be more competitive with natural gas.

  74. The trains will be the way to make it all happen. They will run on renewable energy that will help save the place once we start to kick old fashioned ideas like nuke energy to the curb along with dirty oil. We just may survive. Where will you and your posse try to hoodwink another state into destruction with nukes.

  75. Porter: “Pipeline spills are bigger.”

    Correction. SOME pipeline spills are bigger. But even then you need to think in context. Would you rather have one pipeline spill of 200,000 gallons, or 20 train spills of 20,000 gallons each? I didn’t major in math, but I’d say one larger spill is preferable to 20 smaller spills which equate to a greater overall amount of spilled oil… but that’s just me. This doesn’t even factor in the increased risk to human life posed by the trains. Even the article you cited makes that point.

    Jerry: “I clamor for more trains because I actually look at maps. I see that maps show where towns and cities are.”

    Great – so you want to put more and more oil filled trains on tracks that run through our cities and towns. Which thus increases the risk of accidents and pills directly in those towns, and since trains have a bad habit of exploding during accidents you are suggesting human lives shouldn’t be considered. And even with all of that, those trains still need to cross over rivers and streams and other ecologically sensitive areas such as marshlands and wetlands.

    What could possibly go wrong with that idea? Sadly we already know and I’ve linked to the outcome.

    Jerry: “Yes Craig, you want solutions but you really do not want to hear about them”

    Not sure what this even means. I want legitimate solutions, not wishful thinking not based in fact. I want realistic solutions that we can implement to address our concerns today and that means we aren’t talking about installing a million miles of new rails across the nation which could help us with our transportation concerns in a few decades. We know more trains on our existing tracks equals more derailments, more accidents, and more spills. The data has shown us that. The only way to pretend that isn’t a fact is to ignore the data (which some here are clearly willing to do). The real solution is to decrease our demand for oil because any method of transporting it will have risk. I support alternatives such as wind, solar, hydro, and even nuclear… but sadly the public support isn’t there for most of these methods of production. Just in our own state we have seen both wind and solar projects killed due to public concern… but people still keep on burning their oil and pretending they aren’t part of the problem. Either way we have a problem today, and today the safest more reliable and most efficient method of transporting oil continues to be via pipelines.

    Jerry: ” I think that rail is not only the safest, but the most reliable way to get the oil to where it needs to go.”

    Well the data disagrees with you. Also, the oil needs to go to refineries. We don’t have or need refineries in every city or town. So the most efficient method to transport oil is to go directly where it needs to – not wind through hundreds of towns on the way. Pipelines tend to put more distance between the method of transport and our cities and towns. That equates to more safety towards humans. If you want to increase the chances of humans being killed then by all means you can keep on supporting more oil trains. Also, don’t even think about complaining about being stuck at train tracks while a train passes by – because if we start packing more and more trains on the rails that is what we will be dealing with.

    More trains = more accidents = more spills = more lives lost. I’m a huge fan of trains for transporting materials and goods as they are far more efficient than trucks or air, but when it comes to oil I’d rather keep it in the pipelines because it is simply safer and more efficient. Human lives matter to me, but property damage and the location of potential spills is also a factor (better to have a spill in the middle of a cornfield instead of the middle of a city).

  76. Porter Lansing

    Oil pipelines are more dangerous to the environment than train or truck transport.

  77. Robert McTaggart

    Hmmm. Investment is up with renewables, but power output is still higher with fossil fuels (namely natural gas).

  78. Porter, I guess if you repeat something often enough you might start to believe it – but the facts don’t support your opinion.

    http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/pipelines-much-safer-than-shipping-oil-by-rail-fraser-institute-study-says?__lsa=87f5-836d

    “Moving oil and gas by pipeline was 4.5 times safer than moving the same volume the same distance by rail ”

    “The study concluded pipelines are likely to experience 0.049 occurrences per thousand barrels of oil equivalent transported and rail will experience about 0.227 occurrences per thousand boe transported.

    Transportation Safety Board data show 73 per cent of pipeline occurrences resulted in spills of less than one cubic metre (about 1,000 litres), while 16 per cent didn’t cause any spill at all, the study notes.”

    And before we start suggesting that train spills are all small and easily contained:

    http://www.kansascity.com/news/article336906/More-oil-spilled-from-trains-in-2013-than-in-previous-4-decades-federal-data-show.html

    “… more than 1.15 million gallons of crude oil was spilled from rail cars in 2013, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.”

    The number of accidents and amount of gallons spilled has spiked due to the growing number of trains and larger trains transporting the oil. Without pipelines, this trend will continue to grow putting more lives at risk, and the result is a higher rate of spillage per gallon transported.

    But hey – just don’t read any of this stuff because it might go against your narrative.

  79. Porter Lansing

    Craig … I guess if you believe what the right wing is asserting long enough you’ll be as biased as the Fraser Institute. They’re doing what’s commonly done on the right and conflating safety to humans with safety to the environment and concluding a false equivalency.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Institute

  80. Porter Lansing

    In Conclusion … Pipeline spills are harder to detect and clean up because they’re buried and disperse often before detection and almost always before a clean-up crew can get to the spill. An above ground spill can be contained and mitigated almost immediately. Thus, oil pipelines are more dangerous to the environment than surface transport. (Here’s a few grizzly episodes you can put in your pipe. – *pun intended)
    https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/spill-tracker

  81. mike from iowa

    Read it and re-read it, but your link isn’t the only game in town,Craig, no matter how you push it.

    You will just have to get used to the fact that not everyone on DFP sees things the way you do.

  82. mike from iowa

    Would you rather have one pipeline spill of 200,000 gallons, or 20 train spills of 20,000 gallons each?

    Oh look, we get to choose.

  83. Porter: “Pipeline spills are harder to detect and clean up because they’re buried and disperse often before detection and almost always before a clean-up crew can get to the spill.”

    In some cases this may be the case, but with proper monitoring technology it shouldn’t be a significant concern, and experience has shown they are able to locate most spills easily before they turn into large scale events.

    However we should be demanding more monitoring systems and improved technology to address this. Simply saying we should avoid pipelines and just go with rail cars would only increase the damage and risk.

    Porter: “An above ground spill can be contained and mitigated almost immediately. Thus, oil pipelines are more dangerous to the environment than surface transport.”

    This is an opinion not a fact and even your own link doesn’t support it. A small spill can be contained almost immediately, but when a derailment ends up with an explosion preventing anyone from getting near the accident and some of it burns sending a plume of black smoke into the sky I suppose it is easy to spot but still very damaging and it takes a great deal of time to clean it up. Where the spill occurs is also an issue. I’d rather have a spill in the middle of a soybean field where the soil can be removed as opposed to a city where citizens need to be evacuated from their homes due to the fumes and cleanup process or where they can’t drink their own tap water due to the oil seeping into their treatment facilities (also an example from your own link after a train accident).

  84. Mike: “You will just have to get used to the fact that not everyone on DFP sees things the way you do.”

    I acknowledge that. Some people like to state opinions as fact while ignoring evidence that challenges those opinions. This is the same logic behind groups like anti-vaxxers or those who believe Hillary Clinton is a serial killer.

    Mike: “Oh look, we get to choose.”

    Well that is the issue isn’t it? We know people (ourselves included) demand oil, we know we all continue to consume it, and we know we have to transport it. Thus we have to choose. We have to transport it and we will need to continue to transport it for as long as we don’t have viable alternatives. So our primary options are rail or pipeline. They both have risks, they both have benefits, but at the end of the day one is simply safer and less likely to kill people. That isn’t to say we can’t continue to use both, but it is naïve to suggest we should just abandon pipelines and start shipping all of our oil via trains. That is less efficient, burns more fossil fuels in the process, results in more spills per barrel transported, results in more human lives lost, and has a much high risk of causing property damage etc.

    Some people are biased against pipelines because of the DAPL so they like to spin things to support their biases. I’d rather look at the big picture and minimize the risk on a whole. There is no perfect solution. I suppose if we limited trains to no more than 20 cars we would minimize the risk, but that isn’t realistic is it? Trains are now getting longer and longer due to demand for transport, and that equals more risk. Now when something does go wrong it involves more train cars which is why we are seeing a spike in the amount of oil spilled when we have accidents.

    There will always be a choice. Maybe we don’t like our choices, but to some degree we are forced to pick one.

  85. Robert McTaggart

    Keep up the good work, Craig.

    Will we agree to pay a lot more to avoid pipelines, and live with increased risks and more carbon emissions from trains or trucks….without any complaints? I doubt it.

  86. mike from iowa

    Then let us ship all oil by Exxon Valdez. It only grounded once in anyone’s lifetime. See how safe it is.

    How hard would it be to dig a yooge canal from the Great Lakes to North Dakota and then float all the oil to Superior and suck it into waiting tankers?

  87. Good point mfi, use that eminent domain to dig a ditch across North Dakota to the Red River Valley. Then to drain into Canada. Damn good thinking and makes perfect sense. Drill that friggin bore hole in Canada as well. That would keep you know who tickled pink.

  88. More rail lines would solve the issues. Building more and better lines for commerce as well as better lines for public transportation. We can be just like we used to be…Back to the Future, baby. Love them trains and the thousands of jobs that go with them. Indeed, Gentle on My Mind

    “I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin’
    Cracklin’ caldron in some train yard
    My beard a roughening coal pile,
    And a dirty hat pulled low across my face
    Through cupped hands ’round the tin can
    I pretend to hold you to my breast and find

    That you’re waiting from the backroads
    By the rivers of my memories
    Ever smilin’ ever gentle on my mind

  89. What kind of incoherents build anything on lands that don’t belong to them? And then are surprised when it doesn’t work out?

  90. People that think incoherently trying to be clever.

  91. Jerry I’d love to see more rail lines but I don’t think that would solve all the issues. As some of the analysis has stated some of the train accidents we have experienced in recent years are human error. Some are due to mechanical failures (brakes failed on a decline, or there was a failure in the track itself). More tracks would perhaps ease the demand on existing lines, but adding more trains (even on new tracks) is likely to result in more accidents.

    Perhaps more tracks would reduce overall spillage per gallon transported via train because if anything we could prevent the risk of having two trains headed towards one another on the same track (although such head on collisions are extremely rare so this isn’t a great selling point). However even with that I suspect the total number of accidents and spills would still be greater than the rate of pipelines. The simple reality is when you have a moving object on the surface which relies upon a mechanical connection to the rails and crosses over thousands of roads and bridges and involves human operators – accidents will be inevitable. Technology can help reduce the accidents, but you still have a lot of moving parts prone to failure.

    Plus, as much as I would like to see more tracks to allow more freight and passenger traffic, there many barriers preventing it from being feasible in our nation. Cost to purchase land and install such tracks is a huge barrier (unlike pipelines, the land where a rail line exists cannot be used for any other purpose so there is greater resistance from landowners to sell their land or give up rights to it). There are many other barriers as well much of which surround our geography.

    If you are really willing to be open minded about some barriers, this is a great video I watched recently which opened my eyes to some of the issues rail has against it in the US.

    http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/08/bad-trains-explained/496742/

    If that link doesn’t work, just search for “Wendover Productions Trains” in Google and it should be the first result.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for more rails in the US. I just don’t see it being feasible to solve our immediate issues.

  92. Robert McTaggart

    Where is George Jetson when you really need him….

  93. Craig, clean water for 18 million people is a greater public interest.

    Robert, you can live with a helmet on your head like George Jetson, but I want to ride free in this beautiful land!

  94. George is moving on up to the big time because he finally got a piece of the pie

  95. So then Craig, if billions can be spent to jamb a pipeline that only serves on purpose down our throats, why can’t we invest billions in developing rail lines that are multi purpose? You seem to be saying that it is just to hard to do, really? This place was built on building, what made us so squeamish as to just keep doing the same stupid stuff with the same stupid results. Investments are what progressives want to do. That would put people to work, increase the tax rolls, you know, thinking like a business.

  96. Jerry I’m not saying we can’t invest billions in rail lines, but the issue I think you will find is that it would cost billions upon billions upon billions. On one had we have a private company willing to invest in a pipeline because they know it will be profitable for them. We don’t see the same thing with rail and there is a good reason. If a company or series of companies felt they could spend the same amount on rail and get more benefit I’m quite sure they would do so, but I don’t see anyone stepping up to do so.

    As that video I linked to points out, the cost to install rail lines is essentially cost prohibitive in much of the nation. Perhaps it is feasible in the rural areas, but the problem is loading and unloading railcars happens in populated areas.

    That said if someone wishes to install rail lines I’m on board (pardon the pun). I’ll even support a tax subsidy to make it happen.

  97. Is Warren Buffet chopped liver? How about the wheat producers?

    Europe invests billions and billions of Euros so that people can get from point A to point B and you guys like to say that Europe is bankrupt, but we are flush. Well we subidize this big oil pipeline just lie we are subsidizing the paid police that are there now. Protecting the crooked pipeline while it disregards a directive from the courts, some serve and protect police force or farce would be a better term.

    Naw, it would not be so much to build the lines, we could ask Warren and Berkshire Hathaway to underwrite it. In history, there was train building that crossed this vast land, disrupted the Indian way of life, damned near killed all the buffalo but it got built. We are nation builders according to our war plans, lets do the same here without a war. Or lets have one and get it over with to rebuild the place.

  98. Daniel Buresh

    Trying to remove pipes and move everything by truck and rail is a dream. The cost increases of everything from food to oil would be killing people left and right when they are starving and freezing to death. It would be like trying to bail water out of sinking boat with a thimble when we had buckets before. Not going to happen without creating a depression that would destroy our economy beyond repair.

  99. In Atlantic City, they condemned property to build casino’s. In Deadwood, they destroy historical sites to build casino’s. In North Dakota, we have illegal activity that is being protected by law enforcement from South Dakota and throughout the country. The property and the police go to the highest bidder.

  100. Yeah Daniel, lets just give the hell up. Why bother because it is just to hard. We are so soft here that we even hire out our combat to private contractors, just like the Roman’s did when it became to hard to leave the Eternal City. Lets allow all kinds of pollution and destruction of our water because, you can buy a bottle of water at Sam’s Club for just a half a buck. Damn good water too except when it is not, but who cares, right?

  101. Right now, what is killing us is being so damn fat we cannot lace up our shoes. Take a look around in the winter time (whenever that is) and look at the footwear people have on. Slippers that are all run over because they are so chubby, this is all that fits them. Those fat asses could use a little starvation to slim down and get healthy.

    Good food is what we need that is grown locally and supplied by rail to regional locations. No avocados in Sioux Falls because that is out of season, why truck them in as it wastes food. Send it by rail, good idea. Think of having our beef that is regional and local, put some bite in COOL.

    Put the heating oil, delivered by rail, to warm the hearts and souls of the recipients until soon to come day for renewable energy to replace that heating oil. Not difficult at all, pull that new pipe up and melt it down. That is right, we cannot because it did not even come from here in the first place. This is Russian pipe. Thanks Trump and Putin, you two crazy kids.

  102. Leo: “clean water for 18 million people is a greater public interest.”

    Well first of all whether you move oil by rail or pipeline you still have concerns over water pollution. So unless your response is that we should simply not ship oil you are going to have to admit there is risk regardless of method.

    However let’s just assume for a second that there is a spill. Does that mean all the water is thereby polluted and that 18 million people are suddenly unable to consume water from their domestic water supply? Not at all. If that was a legitimate threat, there is no way a pipeline would ever be allowed to cross a river.

    The reality is, pipelines are placed well below the bottom of rivers. I believe this one is intended to be something like 80-90 feet below the river within bedrock, so if the pipeline ever did leak, that oil would likely travel down as opposed to upwards into the riverbed. But we can never know for sure right? So what would a spill actually mean to the water in the river?

    I recently read a post where someone did the math – and I have to admit I was surprised.

    [quote]”Over the last 20 years there have been approximately 50-60 crude oil pipeline spillage “Significant Incidents,” which are defined as meeting any of the following criteria:

    1.Fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization
    2.$50,000 or more in total costs, measured in 1984 dollars
    3.Highly volatile liquid releases of 5 barrels or more or other liquid releases of 50 barrels or more
    4.Liquid releases resulting in an unintentional fire or explosion.

    The average number of barrels spilled is about 280, however this is a total average and is most likely skewed by a handful of large spills. That’s almost 15,500 gallons of crude oil per spill, and I’ll admit that’s a lot.

    However, the Missouri River’s average flow is 655,000 gallons a second measured at the discharge into the Mississippi. Obviously the Kansas, Platte, Big Sioux, and other rivers will decrease this amount as you go upstream, so lets say 400,000 gallons/second for our purposes.

    That means if you dumped all of the oil from the average pipeline spill into the river at once, it would make up… 3.8% of the river’s flow. For one second. If you spread it throughout a whole day you end up with about 44 ppm oil in the water, which is so low that you probably couldn’t taste it even if the water was completely clear of all other contaminants. This is of course ridiculous because that much oil is not going to be flowing into the river at one time, not even close. If the pipeline did begin leaking under the river the oil would have to leech up through the soil/riverbed to begin contaminating the water.

    So personally I’m not too worried about the pipeline contaminating all of our drinking water, because unless we start pumping the oil directly into the river an average spill won’t really effect anyone.”[/quote]

    Now agree or disagree whether we should be worried, but comparing an average spill against the total flow of the river is basic math, and by that we can see that the actual risk to our water supply is practically nonexistent because even with the scenario above it is absolute worst case scenario.

    I think people tend to forget that oil is already under us, and hydrocarbons naturally enter rivers and streams from the water table. Our rivers also contain numerous other pollutants such as fecal coliform bacteria, selenium, mercury, methylmercury, agricultural pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides etc. etc. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t do what we can to minimize and prevent pollution, but there is a reason why water treatment plants are designed to treat water prior to human consumption. Even without a drop of spilled oil from a pipeline or train car, that water already contains enough contaminants that it should be treated prior to drinking it, so unless we believe the pipeline would be dumping 100% of the oil traveling through it for days upon days before nobody bothered to notice, I doubt it would result in the water being unfit for human consumption once treated at a typical water treatment plan.

    I’d actually be more concerned for aquatic life and animals which rely upon the water in the river. They don’t have the luxury of water treatment plants. Us humans however will be just fine.

  103. Craig, time for a massive change from fossil fuels to clean energy. Green New Deal! Please put your mind to that….seems like you have a good one – just not working on the right project.

  104. Robert McTaggart

    Where is the money for that going to come from Leo?

    And how would building more solar and wind do anything today for transportation? You can’t use them to charge up a vehicle that runs on gasoline.

  105. Robert McTaggart

    There are roughly 250 million passenger vehicles in the United States. Let’s say half of them must be replaced by an electric vehicle tomorrow. And let’s say Santa can make them magically appear, but you still have to pay for them.

    125,000,000 vehicles * $40,000 per vehicle = $5 trillion

  106. Dr. McTaggart, if Santa could deliver 125,000,000 vehicles and we could pay for them, and if we could disregard all of the oil needed to build these fancy cars, where could we all plug them in? That’s a lot of plug ins. And even if all the downtowns had public plug ins wherever you went, and it was all free, where would all the juice to charge those batteries come from? Windmills and Solar Farms on the top of the stores? How much more will all that cost when my granddaughter wants to charge her car for free at 5pm in the dark on a cold still night outside of Talley’s?

  107. derivative trades, no subsidies for oil, taxes on wall street, increase tax status on the wealthy. Close the loopholes that Trump used, taxes on Corporate funds off shore…Where is there not to start to find the money. Issue bonds for the construction projects. Employ the manpower necessary to build the projects and to maintain them. Take away the huge government help for nukes. There are so many ways to fund this project.

    Why would they need replacing tomorrow? As they wear out, they will be junked and new efficient replacements will be available. This is 2016. In 1916, Henry Ford was already to start the work to mass produce auto’s. That is the kind of drive that drove this country to stardom. Now all we want to do is bitch and moan that it is to hard and make excuses. Lets make a pact to move off the pity pot and go to work. Put those donuts down, toss the chips and diet cola and say hau kola to gettin stuff done.

  108. Robert McTaggart

    How much power is necessary?

    125 million vehicles * 20,000 miles per year * 1 gallon of gas per 100 miles * 33.41 kWh per gallon of gas = 8.3525 X 10^11 kWh.

    If a nuclear power plant were to generate 500 kWh of useful electricity for a year, it makes 2.19 X 10^9 kiloWatt-hours each year.

    8.3525 X 10^11 kWh * 1 nuclear power plant per 2.19 X 10^9 kWh = 381 nuclear power plants that generate 500 kWh of usable electricity. We have less than 100 today.

    If we can keep construction down to $5 billion per plant, then we need $1.9 trillion to build the plants. Obviously one solution is to generate more energy from each plant, so you don’t have to build as many.

  109. That’s good math, Dr. McT. Good math indeed. So if we build 381 nuclear power plants, nearly quintupling the number we have today, we will most certainly need to dig The Borehole by Redfield where it would be #4Science, and become a tourist attraction and create great economic development.

    Then, we could dig many boreholes to bury the stuff that comes out of these 381 new nuke facilities. In some other state besides South Dakota, of course.

  110. Yes, solar on top of those buildings downtown Sturgis would be the way to go. Put them on the schools and pay the schools rentals for the privilege of the rent. During the day, batteries would be charged and during the day panels on the cars would charge the car as well to keep the batteries charged. Your granddaughter will be able to drive her people mover to park and if she needs power, simply plug it in a socket or use her app to make it all work. All is possible. At the South Dakota School of Mines, they developed a card reader that you put your good finger on and it reads your print and pays the bill at the merchandiser. Even if your finger stutters, it will only pay once they tell me. Who would have thunk that not so long ago. We can get away from dirty oil to save our water and therefore, ourselves. Your granddaughter can spend to her little hearts desire on those streets and get in her people mover to take her home. Santa would so approve of this.

  111. no nukes would ever be needed again. They would go in the dustbin of bad ideas. We will have found the simplest thing on the planet for energy. Thousands and thousands of turtles, snakes and lizards know the power of the sun. Take a look on the roadways and see how flat they are. Now think of how happy they would be knowing that there flatness was caused by a Prius or something similar, perhaps a Tesla.

  112. Mr. Grudznick, if doc has his way, at least a dozen of these would fail like the one in that dirty name, Japan. There then would be the boreholes without the bore. Doc could get his posse together and haul that glow stuff from other contaminated sites to the new ones that are deep in the earth and dump that trash there. Doc has all the calculations to make the whole thing work too or he could put those together without issue. I wonder if Heather is in on this plan? hmmm

  113. Mr. jerry, you remind me of those east coast Libbie people who think beef comes from the grocery store and don’t understand the need of having cattle on ranches that ultimately need to be slaughtered.

  114. Thankfully I am for open range, like the olden days. As a librarian, I think that cattle should be grass fed, sold fairly on a square market, slaughtered and packaged with a sticker that says where they came from. As a librarian, I want the freedom to choose where my beef has come from. I think that I shall want that beef to come from this place called South Dakota where there is good water and good grass that is not contaminated by dirty oil. How about you Mr. Grudznick, you say you are not and East Coast Libbie people, where do you want your beef to come from? Does it matter to you? Or is your may concern being a vegetarian to eat the taters with much zeal?

  115. Robert McTaggart

    I made a math error above, so I better take some points off of my own paper for a change….The 8.3525 X 10^11 kWh necessary to power a fleet of 125 million vehicles for one year is still OK.

    Each power plant is roughly 500 MW, not 500 kW, producing 4.38 X 10^9 kWh each year. So I need 190 power plants, not 381.

    What about solar? You will need one square mile for each nuclear power plant, and about 60 times that to generate the same power from solar. So you would need 190 X 60 = 11,400 square miles of nothing but solar panels, or roughly a square the size of the distance between Sioux Falls and Watertown. That square may need to be larger in the northern latitudes, particularly to accommodate winter sunshine.

    If you want to do this on homes and leave the land to agriculture, let’s say each house can provide 1000 square feet of solar panels and assume no losses. You will need 318 million such homes. You are in the ballpark at least…some optimization with solar farms and commercial buildings would help.

  116. Paul Seamans

    Quite often the problem with an oil spill is the chemicals in crude oil rather than the oil itself. Chief among these chemicals are what are called the BTEX chemicals. The maximum federal allowable limit on the highly carcinogenic benzene is 5 ppb. This equates to 17 drops of benzene in 50,000 gallons of water. In Janurary of 2016 the Poplar pipeline spilled into the Yellowstone. River. The city of Glendive had benzene in their water at 15 ppb. The Yellowstone River was covered with ice and very little oil was recovered. Lake Oahe is usually ice covered in the winter near Ft. Yates. The Glendive scenario could also happen at Ft. Yates.

    If an oil leak travels downward, as Craig says,when a pipeline leaks 90 feet below a river bed then how would you ever discover a leak? How would you clean up the soil when the leak is 90 feet below the river bed?

  117. That’s more homes than we have households in the US, isn’t it Dr? And how would we transmit all this power to the plug ins? I vote for the giant panel stretching from SF to Watertown, but wonder how people will shovel snow off such a beast and where they would put it. There are just a dang bunch of practical problems people haven’t thought of. Darn it.

  118. Mr. Seamans, good point and that is probably the exact reason for the depth they claim will be the pipelines bottom. We are playing with fire with this bomb ready to explode if allowed to be built. It amazes me that folks in South Dakota, save but a few of us, seem to even care about what is about to happen.

  119. Robert McTaggart

    Yes, that is about 2.5 times the number of homes we have (~125 million, or one electric vehicle per household under this exercise). But I’m not too far off given a rough calculation.

    The real answer is that we will need to do some home solar, some solar farms, some wind, and some nuclear to cover 50% electrification on top of the power we already use today.

    And we will need battery storage for all of those vehicles too.

    If you do it right, the new nuclear plants will use the heat they generate to make some hydrogen or biofuels that we can use as well.

    So to make a long story short….we have a lot of work to do to displace gasoline from transportation.

  120. Good news doc! We would not need all those vehicles with the trains set to run for public transportation. We can park those people movers and get around like they do in other parts of the world. In rural areas like South Dakota, of course we will need the big beasts that do the heavy work of hauling materials along with livestock and other supplies. We can do this to make a long story short, lets get after it.

  121. late to the discussion… been working to get dems elected.

    Nationwide Permit 12 allows for “activities required for the construction, maintenance, repair, and removal of utility lines and associated facilities in waters of the United States, provided the activity does not result in the loss of greater than 1/2-acre of waters of the United States for each single and complete project.”

    “Oil companies have been using this antiquated fast-track permit process that was not designed to properly address the issues of mega-projects such as the Dakota Access pipeline,” Dallas Goldtooth, of the Indigenous Environmental Network and 1491s.

    The crossing at Lake Oahe and the federal land next to it is not private, giving the administration more leverage to invoke federal authority than it has elsewhere along the route.

    Obama’s decision in September was to withhold a final permit to allow the Dakota Access to cross a small portion of federal land and Lake Oahe, a dammed section of the federally regulated Missouri River that provides water for the Standing Rock Sioux.

    The administration acted just minutes after a federal judge denied a request by the Standing Rock Sioux to halt construction on the pipeline.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-dakota-access-pipeline-permit-20161104-story.html

  122. Pres. Obama sold us down the river. This is political retribution in the style of Chris Christie and Rick Snyder – poison our water because we are pissed! Why would anyone vote for Democrats ever again? http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/obama-approve-dakota-access-pipeline-231255

  123. mike from iowa

    DAPL sounds like they believe they are in charge.

  124. Leo, read your own link. The article is quite the opposite of what you are saying about Obama. He states clearly that no decision has been made yet.

    Mr. Seamans made a very good observation some time back about the fact that if the pipeline does not start pumping oil by January 1, 2017, all of the contracts would need to be redone on the line. As he noted, the contracts are now based on $100.00 oil and that is about half of what it’s worth actually is at present. So at the end of December, next month, it will be a very deep loss for the investors.

    Lets be patient and wish our fellows well on site in North Dakota. Tic toc