As environmentalists rage against the Dakota Access Pipeline, even with an order to evacuate their protest sites, a reminder that “DAPL” is just one of many pipelines in the U.S.
As the deadline for Dakota Access protesters to vacate their protest site approaches on Wednesday, some protesters are vowing to stay and others are lighting the camp ablaze in a “ceremonial” act. With all the attention, one would think the Dakota Access Pipeline will have a major impact on the environment and American energy.
Take a look at a few maps, though, and it puts Dakota Access in perspective.
Below, courtesy of CNN, is a map of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Both run through several states.
Here, though, courtesy of The Washington Post, is a map of all the oil, gas, and gas byproduct pipelines in America:
According to WaPo, that’s “about 150,000 miles of oil pipelines and more than 1.5 million miles of natural gas pipelines in the United States.”
It stands to reason that Dakota Access will have no appreciable effect on the natural gas industry as a whole in the U.S., nor the environment as a whole.
So, why all the fuss? The Daily Beast, of all sources, has a good read on it:
On the environmental side, the motives are actually mixed. On the surface, the objections to the pipelines have to do with safety and pollution. Really, though, much of the campaign is about climate change.
Environmentalists also tend to ignore the fact that pipelines are the “safest option” for transporting oil, compared to trains and trucks. That point, and others cited above, suggest Dakota Access is more a chosen cause than one with any measurable impact on energy and the environment in the country.
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