Bakken Pipeline Fact Sheet


  • Proposed by Dakota Access, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners. ETP is based in Houston, Texas, and owns and operates pipelines across the country. Phillips 66 has joined with ETP to finance the project. The company owns and operates many refineries on the Gulf Coast.
  • LS2 group is handling public relations for the project- some of their employees have ties to Governor Branstad.


  • “Dakota Access Pipeline Project” will transport North Dakota crude oil from the Bakken oil reserves to Patoka, Illinois. This in turn gives access to East coast markets by rail, or to pipelines which would carry Bakken crude to the Gulf Coast for refinement and export.
  • The pipeline is 1,134 miles long, 30 inch in diameter, 24 to 48 inches underground, and will transport 540,000 barrels daily.
  • Bakken crude is currently transported through nine Iowa counties via three freight trains per week. The construction of this pipeline is supposed to replace transport by rail, however ETP has not committed to stopping rail transport.
  • Bakken crude is more flammable because of a lower flash point to ignition. It poses a significant fire risk.
  • A 150 foot construction right of way and a permanent 50 foot easement is needed for the pipeline.


  • The project surfaced in July of 2014.
  • Public meetings have been delayed until December 2014 and ETP hopes to be operational by the end of 2016.


  • Iowa counties impacted: Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Sac, Calhoun, Webster, Boone, Story, Polk, Jasper, Mahaska, Keokuk, Wapello, Jefferson, Van Buren, and Lee.
  • Landowners in the path of the pipeline must comply with ETP or face eminent domain.
  • The pipeline will cross all major watersheds in Iowa, including many of those with already impaired waterways.
  • Constructing this pipeline in Iowa endorses the environmental destruction at the Bakken shale extraction sites, which impact the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.
  • The pipeline reinforces continued reliance on a fossil fuel economy that has overwhelmingly contributed to global climate change and the associated impacts on people across the globe.


  • Pipelines leak, threatening our lands, waters, and livelihoods. Spills will cost millions, and the bill will be footed by taxpayers, NOT Big Oil.
  • The proposed route would closely track the Des Moines River watershed across the length of the state, one of the biggest rivers in Iowa that hundreds of thousands of Iowans depend on for clean drinking water.
  • If this pipeline is built, it could seriously harm Iowa’s already impaired water quality, threaten the property rights of thousands of everyday Iowans and rural Iowans, and contribute to the catastrophic climate change.
  • Iowa already has enough problems dealing with corporate agriculture and factory farm manure pollution. The last thing we need is Big Oil pumping up to 22 million gallons of dirty Bakken oil through Iowa every single day. Because it’s only a matter of time before pipelines break. It’s happened already in Arkansas, Michigan, Montana, and North Dakota.
  • This plan was hatched in secret, and the first Iowans even knew of the proposal was when the Texas oil corporation, Transfer Energy Partners, sent letters to thousands of property owners asking for permission to come survey their land.
  • Not only are the impacts horrible, but ETP has the audacity to assume that this is a done deal. They intend to use eminent domain to seize the property rights of those who stand in their path.  We can’t pave the way for ETP’s profits- inviting Big Oil into Iowa will only compromise our quality of life.


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