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Lincoln County Approves Pump Station to Double Dakota Access Pipeline Capacity

"Dakota Access Pipeline Optimization Proposed New Pump Station South Dakota Exhibit," submitted to SDPUC 2019.06.11.
Harrisburg is in the upper left; newly approved Dakota Access Pipeline pumping station will be at the green dot at center; “Dakota Access Pipeline Optimization Proposed New Pump Station South Dakota Exhibit,” submitted to SDPUC 2019.06.11.

The Lincoln County Commission yesterday approved Energy Transfer Partners’ plan to double the amount of oil surging through the Dakota Access pipeline a mile south of the current confines of Harrisburg. Dakota Rural Action pointed out that a new pumping station that increases the flow of oil from 500K+ barrels a day to 1.1 million bpd isn’t healthy for anything but corporate profit:

“This is a hazardous, industrial facility being built in what is planned to be a residential and more urban landscape,” Kelsie Thomas, Dakota Rural Action Homegrown Sioux Empire member, said. “And where some individuals and rural folks live right now.”

…”I think there’s a lot of safety, a lot of safety concerns we’re looking at over-doubling the capacity of crude oil passing through that pipeline,” Thomas said. “I think more oil is more risk, and that risk is to the people, to the land, to the water that are surrounding it” [Jill Langland, “Lincoln County Commission Approves Dakota Access Pipeline Pump Station,” KSFY, 2019.10.22].

The risks aren’t just around Harrisburg but all up and down the pipeline that the new pumping stations (also coming to North Dakota and Illinois) will doubly stress:

Senior organizer Rebecca Terk of Dakota Rural Action told commissioners that the pumping station would increase risks of the pipeline developing leaks or a catastrophic blowout. She said that in turn would harm water supplies and farmland.

“It’s not just about the pipe as a whole,” Terk said. “It’s about those imperfections that exist throughout the pipeline” [“Board OKs Expanded Dakota Access Pipeline Pump Station,” AP, 2019.10.22].

On the bright side, the faster we burn up all that oil, the faster we’ll run out and force our children to come up with sustainable energy alternatives to power their hurricane-proof bunkers.


  1. MM_Dandy 2019-10-23

    For the moment, pipelines are the safest over-land way to transport crude oil on a volume per distance basis. But that may change as trucks and trains become more automated and pipelines continue to age. In any case, oil companies will use the most economic way available to transport their oil. So long as it will make money, they will haul it over rail and road if not over pipelines.

    Regardless of the safety of any method of transportation, spills and leaks are inevitable. So, yes, we need to work on minimizing our use of crude oil products in particular, and energy in general.

  2. Richard Schriever 2019-10-23

    The only way to double the capacity of a pipeline is to triple the pressure. Was the pipeline designed (let alone constructed) to handle that pressure? This pipeline passes within 1000 feet of my family’s property just to the West of the pump location. The route of the pipeline there follows along side and crosses under approximately 5 miles of wetlands, creek and watershed that feed directly into the Sioux River and Canton’s watershed. The pipeline company made such a mess of the roads along the route that in Spring the road going south of our property is unusable – 3 years after construction. I fear this will not end well. All hail the mighty short-term profit MM_Dandy. PS – may we move this pipeline to YOUR backyard?

  3. mike from iowa 2019-10-23

    Speaking of Dakota access…..

    Must not be done if landowners can still get grievances heard. I wonder if the following statement was meant as a pun, ISG is a Des Moines-based multidisciplinary design and engineering firm that performed inspection services on the county’s nearly 11-mile leg of the 1,172-mile pipeline that ventures through four states.

    Does the multi-disciplinary statement mean they can walk and chew gum or does it mean they have been disciplined multiple times?

  4. mike from iowa 2019-10-23

    DAP informed iowa they were going to increase flow by nearly double, although their original proposal had a set limit of 570000 barrels per day.

    Then they claimed the notice was a courtesy to iowa and they didn’t have to give any heads up about increasing the flo. DAPL claims they can double the flow with no extra pressure using polymers to make the oil flow faster.

  5. Porter Lansing 2019-10-23

    Ditch the fossil fuels and uranium ASAP. Here’s the future, folks. (We could join China in building it, if certain political mindsets were softened.) Where does the sun shine every hour of every day? In space, amiga.
    ~ Details of China’s proposed plans have not been made public, but most concept designs that exist today are based around an idea that the photovoltaic array is composed of a lightweight, deployable structure made of many smaller “solar satellites” that could easily connect together in space to form much larger array and “harvest sunlight.” Equally, this approach also makes assembly, maintenance and repair considerably easier.
    The photovoltaic array converts the sunlight into electricity, which in turn is converted into RF electrical power (microwaves) that are beamed wirelessly to ground-based receivers. These would take the form of giant wire nets measuring up to four miles across that could be installed across deserts or farmland or even over lakes. (Click on the link for a really cool artist rendering of the voltaic array.)

  6. Debbo 2019-10-23

    That was very cool Porter. It seems to make sense and be a beautiful part of our energy solutions.

    Re the pipeline: “The risks aren’t just around Harrisburg but all up and down the pipeline.” That’s what I thought. The pumping stations carry no more risk than the entire pipeline, which is indeed plenty.

  7. Debbo 2019-10-23

    Typical GOP way of doing business. Never believe a word they say.

    Remember former Wisconsin governor Snot Wanker’s big multibillion dollar tax give away to Foxconn and the thousands of jobs it was going to create all across the state? Remember the Democrats warning it was just an political boondoggle? Guess who was right?

    “Foxconn finally admits its empty Wisconsin ‘innovation centers’ aren’t being developed
    Took long enough.”

    The Verge and Wisconsin Public Radio

  8. jerry 2019-10-23

    The black death of the Chubby years 2016-2018. 9,700 premature deaths is a bad thing, but the $89 Billion dollar cost, should make a Republican blush. Not to worry, EB5 Rounds is like Chubby in so many ways of support for this.

    “In an analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data, two economists at Carnegie Mellon conclude that average fine particulate matter increased 5.5% between 2016 and 2018, after having fallen 24.2% over the previous seven years. The cost: 9,700 premature deaths, valued by actuaries at $89 billion.

    Karen Clay and Nicholas Muller wrote the paper published this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research say three main factors caused this increase in particulate pollution: more wildfires, economic growth that has put more vehicles’ on the road a boosted industrial carbon emissions, and weaker pollution controls under the Trump regime. “Because of these large increases and the large exposed population in California, we find that nearly 43% of the increase in deaths nationally from 2016 to 2018 occurred in California,” they wrote.”

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-10-24

    As MMD suggests, ETP’s argument that pipelines are the safest way to transport oil misses the bigger point that we should transport and use less of that oil. It’s kind of like debating the safest way to deliver meth into your bloodstream or bail bond money into Dan Lederman’s hands; the bigger issue is stopping that delivery and breaking the cycle of addiction.

    It’s as if it were 1900 and Lincoln County were taking action to increase the use of horses for transportation, agriculture, and industry. Doubling down on that energy source means more horse poop on the streets and a loss of competitiveness with nations that are looking to the future and developing the energy sources that will power the next century’s economy.

    Instead of increasing out addiction to oil, we should invest in conservation and innovation.

  10. Debbo 2019-10-25

    “Exxon hid tens of billions of dollars in potential costs, downplaying the risk to investors and inflating the company’s value.”

    This comes from a story about Exxon being sued by the NY AG. It includes the uber polluting tar sands.

    “While Exxon has denied wrongdoing, it does not dispute the core fact of the case: that for years it disclosed a proxy cost that was higher than what it applied to its investment evaluations. Its lawyers have argued these different sets of figures did not mislead investors. But this only highlights another side of the case.

    “The energy Exxon produces today is more polluting, according to the attorney general’s complaint, because the company took the potential costs of climate change less seriously than it represented to investors.

    “Applying a lower estimate for carbon costs made high-polluting projects look more attractive, and it undermined the investment case for any project that would reduce emissions. Nowhere is this clearer than in Canada’s tar sands, a vast expanse of low-grade hydrocarbons that now make up about 30 percent of Exxon’s oil reserves, far more than any of its peers.”

    “Oil sands tick all the boxes when it comes to a carbon-risky asset,” said Andrew Logan, who runs the oil and gas program at Ceres, a sustainable investment advocacy group. Because they require enormous amounts of energy to exploit, the tar sands are among the world’s most expensive and carbon-polluting sources of oil.

    I found this article in “Sierra Club News,” which condensed it from “Inside Climate News.”

  11. Robert McTaggart 2019-10-25

    If you are going to use less oil you have two options.

    One is to use less energy altogether. That is not happening (cell phones, electric cars, commenting on Dakota Free Press, etc.).

    The other is to generate more electricity to displace the use of oil in transportation. I favor making that by clean methods, whenever people want to use it….not just when you can make the energy.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-10-28

    I use less energy by buying less stuff. My blogging computer is five and a half years old. My blogging phone is four and a half.

    I don’t need to double the oil gushing past Harrisburg to keep blogging.

Comments are closed.