The head of the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) said Thursday that the project is going forward regardless protester concerns.
North Dakotans are generally “wonderful people, law-abiding, nonviolent people. And they’re trying to go about their lives,” Kelcey Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), said in an interview with PBS News Hour.
The protests have been anything but peaceful, she said, adding that, “if they want to stick around and continue to do what they’re doing, great, but we’re building the pipeline.”
ETP is currently weaving its way through the courts, regulatory morass, and environmentalist protests to build the multi-billion-dollar pipeline, which is expected to bring 470,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil per day from western North Dakota to southern Illinois.
The Standing Rock Sioux, the ancestors of the Great Sioux Nation, spent several months demonstrating against the $3.7 billion project, arguing the pipeline’s construction would trample on tribal lands and destroy artifacts. They also believe it could potentially poison waterways, including rivers such as the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.
Months of protests have taken their toll on the pipeline.
The DAPL is being held up by the Obama administration supposedly to give the government more time to determine the environmental impact it would have on Standing Rock’s reservation.
The Army Corps of Engineers, at President Barack Obama’s direction, moved to delay the nearly 1,200 mile-long project again despite having reviewed more than 1,200 pages of environmental and cultural analysis over the past three years, as well as consulting with 55 American Indian tribes nearly 400 times.
Warren did not address a report published Wednesday showing that DAPL investors and contractors will likely renegotiate the terms of the contracts if the company misses its Jan. 1 completion deadline. The missed deadline could place the line in legal limbo.
Chris White is a contributer for the Daily Caller. This content was provided by the Daily Caller News Foundation