8 Facts About the Dakota Access Pipeline

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was recently back in the news, with Trump issuing an executive order approving its completion and the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Army Corps have also granted easement for construction to continue, despite that they denied it just a few months ago.

The struggle continues, and water protectors are still hard at work raising awareness of the violation of native rights and the potential for millions of people to lose clean drinking water. Unfortunately, the company constructing the pipeline has close ties with the newly elected president.

Add this to the fact that police have responded brutally to protestors (and will probably continue to), and you have a recipe for indefinite strife.

Here are eight facts about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the situation in Standing Rock that may or may not make you want to join the struggle.

  1. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,100-mile oil pipeline under construction from North Dakota (specifically, the Bakken shale oil fields) to Peoria, IL

It’s a $3.8 billion project planned to cross Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, where it would reside under the Missouri river. (1)

  1. President Trump recently signed executive orders approving the completion of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines

His reason was that it’ll bring in jobs. Congress can’t overturn the decision, but the Standing Rock Sioux are preparing legal action and “mass civil disobedience”. (2)

  1. Trump had investments in the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline

In December, Trump sold his stake in Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company constructing DAPL, to avoid controversy. But he continues to be close with the company. Kelcy Warren, owner of Energy Transfer Partners, gave $100,000 to a fundraising effort for Trump when he was running. The Washington Post reports that Trump’s share in the company was between $500,000 and $1 million in 2015. (2)

For this and other reasons, many people expected Trump to approve the pipeline’s completion when he took office. They were right.

  1. DAPL’s construction would bring a renewal of fracking in the Bakken region

Fracking, an oil extraction method often targeted by environmental activists for its recklessness, could become popular again in the Bakken region when the pipeline is finished. (1)

  1. The pipeline will pollute a main source of freshwater for the Standing Rock Sioux and 8 million other residents

Not only the Standing Rock Sioux, but 8 million residents who currently enjoy clean drinking water will have to go without if the pipeline leaks. (1)

  1. Concerns over the pipeline leaking have already caused it to be moved once

The pipeline’s original route passed through North Dakota’s state capital, Bismarck. It was moved, however, over similar concerns for the city’s water supply. (3)

  1. The government has conducted surveillance on water protectors

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently released a report involving “numerous” law enforcement agencies in which anecdotal reports were compiled of the suspicious behavior of some protestors’ cell phones. This behavior included an unusual drain on the battery and certain apps, or the phone altogether, crashing unexpectedly. (4)

The report notes that some people observed attempts to log in to their Google accounts. Facebook posts and messenger threads also reportedly disappeared, and many uploads – especially live ones – would either fail to complete or disappear after processing. The IP addresses traced to the attempts to log in to Google accounts were most often linked to “North Dakota’s Information & Technology Department”. (4)

To be fair, though, the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that it’s difficult to determine the true cause of all this. (4)

  1. DAPL police blew up a water protector’s arm

Sophia Wilansky is a DAPL protestor who nearly lost her arm after it was blown up by a grenade fired by militarized police. Rumors circulated that doctors had to amputate the arm, but they turned out untrue. (5)

Nonetheless, it’s a traumatic thing to happen to someone who has the audacity to stand up for clean water.

Some people might think Trump’s decision to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline’s completion is no big deal. Some are praising him for creating jobs. But they’re unaware of the literal blood, sweat, and tears that have went into this struggle.

Until we can see the struggle of others as no different from our own, we’ll continue to support outrageous politicians sponsored by big corporations, none of which truly care about the people. Hopefully, in time, we’ll develop compassion and see that it’s not okay to break treaties or pollute sacred land.


  1. “About DAPL” Medic + Healer Councilhttps://medichealercouncil.com/nodapl/
  2. Jessica McBride, “Trump Dakota Access Pipeline Executive Order: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know”, Heavy.com, January 24, 2017 – http://heavy.com/news/2017/01/trump-dakota-access-pipeline-executive-order-dapl-standing-rock-no-keystone-investment-energy-transfer-partners-kelcy-warren-donation/
  3. “Pipeline route plan first called for crossing north of Bismarck”, Bismarck Tribune, August 18, 2016 – http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/pipeline-route-plan-first-called-for-crossing-north-of-bismarck/article_64d053e4-8a1a-5198-a1dd-498d386c933c.html
  4. “What You Aren’t Being Told About Government Surveillance on DAPL Protesters”, Anti-Media, December 22, 2016 – http://theantimedia.org/government-surveillance-dapl-protesters/
  5. Nick Bernabe, “Remember When DAPL Police Blew a Protester’s Arm Up? This Is Her Now”, Anti-Media, December 14, 2016 – http://theantimedia.org/dapl-sophia-wilansky-arm-now/

About the author: 

I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.

I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

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