Could Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Permanently Halt Construction?

By Erica Abbott



If Dakota Access Pipeline protesters remain at the site until Jan. 1, could construction be permanently halted? Yes and no.

According to Snopes, an article published by The Ring of Fire Network claimed that pipeline investors were getting “antsy” and that if no progress was made by the new year, the contract would expire. It claims that if protesters hold out until Jan. 1, they “may actually kill the oil-funneling project.” It continues:

Is it too good to be true? It might be – but it might also truly signal the end of this horrific struggle.

This is due to a very specific deadline that the company producing the pipeline is under: if oil is not flowing by January 1, 2017, the two year contract expires. Though due to the massive investment the company has already made, they may try to continue building on the site, every day that the water protectors hold the land represents a massive hit to investors’ pocketbooks.

According to Dakota Access’s own words in court documents, the delays so far have cost the company a whopping $100 million, and each month will cost them millions more.

The article does clarify that if no oil is flowing by that date, investors could choose to abandon the project, however, it doesn’t give any solid clarification as to what the pipeline’s future could be.

Water Protectors Protest the Dakota Access Pipeline

If no progress is made by the new year, according to Snopes, third parties could begin to cancel business contracts, however, there was no indication in any court filings that if it’s not completed, it won’t be completed at all. It is unknown how further delays will impact the pipeline’s future. The Jan. 1 date leaves an end goal in sight, however, at this point, it is simply a hope. No one knows for sure what investors will do when that day comes.

The governor of North Dakota has called for mandatory evacuations of the protesters, however, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have said they have no plans on “forcibly removing” anyone. The Army Corps of Engineers rescinded plans to close the camp by Dec. 5 after facing intense backlash.

The protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline have gone on for months, arguing that the pipeline would put their water supply and sacred sites at risk. According to the LA Times, “the 1,170-mile pipeline would transport as much 500,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the Bakken production region of North Dakota to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Ill.”

Last week, the clashes turned violent when police used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters. Both sides blamed one another for inciting the violence, which had occurred in below freezing temperatures. One person was arrested, while hundreds of other people were injured.

Social Media Reacts to Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Claim

Dear #WaterProtectors, hold on til Jan. 1 when the #DAPL contract expires. @deathrep

— Trip Edington (@MyNamesTrip) November 18, 2016

#NoDAPL. Investors are getting worried.Good. Make them worry more.

— Charles Ditzel (@cld9731) November 21, 2016

Yo damnnnnnnnn. Keep it up fam! #NoDAPL

— John Lippiello (@JayL_yun) November 27, 2016 guess they will step up the pressure to destroy our earth

— ann marie (@annmarie309) November 29, 2016

Hope this is true. Hold on! #NoDAPL via @ringoffireradio

— Freckles (@ORgrannie) November 30, 2016

What are your thoughts on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests? Sound off in the comments section below!

Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue, Flickr

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