WHO PROPOSED IT?

  • 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.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT?

  • “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.

WHEN WOULD IT BE BUILT?

  • 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.

WHERE WOULD IT BE BUILT AND WHO WOULD BE IMPACTED?

  • 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.

WHY CAN THE PIPELINE ABSOLUTELY NOT BE BUILT? 

  • 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.

 

Join the Fight

Interested in helping stop the proposed Bakken Pipeline?

 

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says Bakken Oil Pipeline “Raises Red Flags”

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement members discover July 17 IRFA memo after filing a public information request with Governor Branstad’s office

IRFA memo says pipeline proposal raises red flags because Big Oil enjoys unfair taxpayer subsidies and could use eminent domain to confiscate valuable Iowa farmland and turn it over to a private, out-of-state, for-profit corporation

To view an original copy of the IRFA memo as provided to the governor’s office, click here

MEMO

TO:                  Iowa elected leaders

FROM: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

DATE:  July 17, 2014

RE:       Iowa Oil Pipeline Proposal Raises Red Flags

On July 10, 2014, The Des Moines Register reported Texas-based energy company Energy Transfer Partners L.P. is proposing “to build an 1,100 mile underground pipeline to transport a highly volatile type of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields through 17 Iowa counties en route to Illinois.”

Since then, a number of other articles have been written on the topic, and several Iowa leaders have weighed-in indicating they need to learn more about the proposal before taking a position on it.

While IRFA has not taken a position on the oil pipeline proposal, the initial reporting on this issue has raised several red flags that need to be carefully considered in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Much of the print has focused on whether it would be appropriate for the builder—a private, out-of-state energy company—to use eminent domain to acquire easements to construct the pipeline through valuable Iowa farmland.  This is certainly a very important and delicate point to consider.

Another important question to contemplate is whether it is good policy for Iowa to allow a private, out-of-state energy company to exploit the petroleum industry’s significant industry-specific federal policy benefits in order to help provide a marketplace distribution and cost advantage to Bakken crude oil over higher blends of renewable fuels.

In fact, this pipeline proposal highlights two specific ways in which the federal policy deck is stacked in favor of petroleum:

  • Federal pipeline loan guarantee program—As a petroleum pipeline, the Energy Transfer Partners L.P. project would be eligible for a federal pipeline loan guarantee.  A similar ethanol pipeline project would not be eligible for a federal pipeline loan guarantee. Case in point: plans for an 1,800 mile ethanol pipeline from Sioux Falls, SD, to New York Harbor were shelved in 2010 due to the fact that a federal loan guarantee could not be secured for a pipeline that was shipping something other than oil and gas.
  • Master limited partnership eligibility—The Texas-based company proposing to build the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners L.P., is a master limited partnership (MLP).  According to U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), author of the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act, “an MLP is a business structure that is taxed as a partnership, but whose ownership interests are traded on a market like corporate stock.  By statute, MLPs have only been available to investors in energy portfolios for oil, natural gas, coal extraction, and pipeline projects.  These projects get access to capital at a lower cost and are more liquid than traditional financing approaches to energy projects, making them highly effective at attracting private investment.  Investors in renewable energy projects, however, have been explicitly prevented from forming MLPs, starving a growing portion of America’s domestic energy sector of the capital it needs to build and grow.”

Federal pipeline loan guarantees and master limited partnerships are two ways in which this Iowa oil pipeline proposal would be significantly advantaged over a similar renewable fuel pipeline project.  These advantages, coupled with the oil industry’s century of subsidies, federal petroleum mandate and fuel distribution monopoly, demonstrate definitively that the federal policy playing field is tilted heavily in favor of oil.

IRFA is not opposed to the construction of oil pipelines or other efforts to lower the price of domestic oil.  However, we do object to the use of oil-specific federal policy benefits to provide cost relief and other marketplace advantages exclusively to the petroleum industry, further disadvantaging Iowa’s homegrown renewable fuels.

As you develop your position on this Iowa oil pipeline proposal, IRFA would ask you consider using this unique opportunity to demand equal status for a renewable fuel pipeline in terms of eligibility for federal loan guarantees and MLPs, and to shine additional sunlight on the significant federal policy advantages enjoyed exclusively by the oil industry.  These points need to be front and center as Iowans consider whether to support this Iowa oil pipeline proposal.

If you have any questions regarding this memo, please call the IRFA office at 515-252-6249.  Thank you for your consideration.

Grant Menke

Policy Director

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

(515) 252-6249

(515) 321-6290 cell

gmenke@iowarfa.org

BOLD IOWA RESISTANCE:  Four “Rally and March To Stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline” Events Scheduled For Des Moines, Newton, Iowa City, and Davenport

 

Statewide demonstrations against the pipeline coincide with former rep Ed Fallon’s national “Great March for Climate Action” as group marches across Iowa this month

A national climate justice march started by a former statehouse representative and currently traveling through Iowa has connected with opponents of a proposed Bakken oil pipeline and will hold four rallies and marches in four separate cities as the group walks across the state this month.

The statewide events will feature speakers from the Great March for Climate Action as well as local-area CCI farmers and other everyday Iowans concerned about climate change and the bakken oil pipeline.  The dates and times are:

  • Des Moines, Monday, August 11, 5pm, Ritual Café to the Iowa State Capitol;
  • Newton, Thursday, August 14, time and location To Be Announced;
  • Iowa City, Wednesday, August 20, 11:30am, Ped Mall;
  • Davenport, Sunday, August 24, 2pm, LeClaire Park.

The Newton rally on August 14 will also include representatives from Bold Nebraska, a grassroots group that has united farmers, ranchers, and environmentalists to fight back against the Keystone XL pipeline.

“I am marching across the country to sound the alarm that our planet is in serious peril.  Building a dangerous Bakken crude oil pipeline does not fit into my vision of a livable future,” said Miriam Kashia, a North Liberty woman who has spent eight months with the Great March for Climate Action as the group moves from Los Angeles to Washington DC.

Organizers with the Great March for Climate Action and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement say the statewide demonstrations will mark a major escalation in the movement to stop the Bakken oil pipeline as opposition moves from social media and the internet and on to the streets.

A petition launched by Iowa CCI members calling on Governor Branstad to reject the pipeline proposal has garnered hundreds of signatures in less than a week online.

The Great March for Climate Action departed Lost Angeles on March 1 and is scheduled to arrive in Washington, DC on November 1.     

To learn more about the Great March for Climate Action, visit www.climatemarch.org

Governor Branstad, the Iowa Bakken Oil Pipeline will be a climate disaster.  Building it could harm Iowa’s water quality, contribute to catastrophic climate change, and threaten the property rights of everyday Iowans across the state.  You must find that this pipeline is not in the public interest and reject it.

 

A Fortune 500 oil corporation down in Texas just announced plans to build a dangerous oil pipeline through 17 Iowa counties in order to transport crude, dirty, explosive Bakken oil being hydrofracked in North Dakota down through Iowa and Illinois and on to the Gulf of Mexico.  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 contribute to the catastrophic climate change that has been causing floods and droughts across Iowa for years now and which, if left unchecked, could eventually destroy all life on this planet as we know it.

Click here to sign the petition now!

Iowa already has enough problems dealing with corporate ag and factory farm manure pollution.  The last thing we need is Big Oil pumping 320,000 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.  We don’t need more oil spills coming to Iowa and further polluting the drinking and recreational water of millions of everyday Iowans.

This project also threatens the property rights of thousands of family farmers and rural Iowans.  The only way Big Oil can build this pipeline is by stealing Iowans property through eminent domain, and that’s just not right.

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.

The good news is, we still have time to stop this.  Transfer Energy Partners and their subsidiary corporations haven’t applied for a permit yet, and there will be weeks of public comment where we can stand up and speak out for what’s right.

That’s why now is the time to start organizing, and the first step begins with signing this petition calling on Governor Branstad to put communities before corporations and people before profits, politics, and pollutersWe need to send a strong message now that everyday Iowans do not want this project in our state.

Strength lies in unity, hope lies in resistance.