Illinois Court Vacates Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Capacity Expansion

The Illinois Commerce Commission needed to consider the public need for the proposed expansion to the Dakota Access pipeline, but the court said Jan. 12 the commission erroneously interpreted the public to mean the world, not the U.S.

Laura Sanicola, Reuters

An Illinois appellate court on Jan. 12 vacated approval given by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to allow the expansion of the Dakota Access oil pipeline capacity up to 1.1 million bbl/d.

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) can transport about 570,000 bbl/d of crude oil from North Dakota to the Midwest, though the company said in August it had completed a capacity expansion to 750,000 bbl/d.

The pipeline out of North Dakota’s Bakken shale basin had been a source of controversy prior to its completion in 2017. Opponents said its construction destroyed sacred artifacts and posed a threat to pollute Lake Oahe, a critical drinking water supply, and the greater Missouri River.

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