ND pipeline company will 'trust the process' after project halted

ND pipeline company will 'trust the process' after project halted
© Thinkstock

The company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project says it will “obey the rules and trust the process” as the Obama administration considers whether new assessments of the pipeline are necessary.

“I am confident that as long as the government ultimately decides the fate of the project based on science and engineering, the Dakota Access Pipeline will become operational, bringing a safer means of transportation to a much needed supply of oil to communities across the country,” Energy Transfer Partners Chairman and CEO Kelcy Warren wrote in a memo to staff.


“So we will continue to obey the rules and trust the process.”

The memo — a vote of confidence for the $3.8 billion project — comes days after the Obama administration said it would halt construction on the 1,200-mile long pipeline while it considers whether new environmental tests for its route are necessary.

Warren’s memo, sent Tuesday, reiterated the company’s position that it did everything it could to consider objections from North Dakota tribes while routing the pipeline. He dismissed concerns about the pipeline’s threat to drinking water supplies, and noted a judge’s Friday decision approving of federal permitting of the project. 

That decision would have allowed the project to move forward despite tribal concerns and lawsuits. But the Department of Interior and Army Corps of Engineers immediately said it would not allow construction on a piece of federal land around a lake in the region while it reassesses the project. 

“We are committed to completing construction and safely operating the Dakota Access Pipeline within the confines of the law,” Warren wrote in the memo. 

“We intend to meet with officials in Washington to understand their position and reiterate our commitment to bring the Dakota Access Pipeline into operation.”