BISMARCK - Energy Transfer Partners Chairman and CEO, Kelcy Warren, issued a statement to employees outlining its stance on future work on the Dakota Access Pipeline. It also includes plans to meet with federal agencies in Washington D.C. following a call asking ETP to voluntarily stop construction until more discussions can take place.
Below is an major section of the statement:
We are committed to completing construction and safely operating the Dakota Access Pipeline within
the confines of the law. On Friday, a federal judge reaffirmed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’
previous decision to permit construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Despite the judge’s ruling that
the project is in compliance with U.S. rules and regulations, the Department of Justice, Department of
the Army and Department of Interior later announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is
determining “whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions” and called on the company
to voluntarily halt construction. We intend to meet with officials in Washington to understand their
position and reiterate our commitment to bring the Dakota Access Pipeline into operation.
Second, our corporate mindset has long been to keep our head down and do our work. It has not been
my preference to engage in a media/PR battle. However, misinformation has dominated the news, so we
will work to communicate with the government and media more clearly in the days to come.
In the meantime, I want to share with you information about our work on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
• The right of way for the entire pipeline has been obtained. All four states the pipeline traverses –
North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, and Iowa – have issued favorable certificates, permits and
approvals for construction.
• Nearly the entire Dakota Access pipeline route is across private land. In addition, neither the
land abutting nor Lake Oahe itself is subject to Native American control or ownership. Despite
this, we worked to meet with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leaders on multiple occasions in the
past two years and gave the U.S. Army Corps data for their 389 meetings with more than 55
tribes across the project, including nine with The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe at Lake Oahe. We
– like all Americans – value and respect cultural diversity and the significant role that Native
American culture plays in our nation’s history and its future and hope to be able to strengthen
our relationship with the Native American communities as we move forward with this project.
• Nearly the entire pipeline route in North Dakota – and the entire portion the protestors are
focused on – is located immediately adjacent to an existing natural gas pipeline built in 1982.
The route also parallels a high voltage electric transmission line. This land has been studied,
surveyed, and constructed upon – at least twice before – over the past several decades.
• Multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no
sacred items along the route. State archeologists issued a ‘no significant sites affected’
determination in February on the North Dakota segment of the pipeline. If any potentially sacred
objects were to be found, archaeologists, environmental inspectors, or trained construction staff
are on site throughout construction to ensure their proper care and that proper notifications are
• Concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded. Multiple
pipelines, railways, and highways cross the Missouri River today, carrying hundreds of
thousands of barrels of oil. Dakota Access was designed with tremendous safety factors and
redundancies, including compliance with and exceeding all safety and environmental regulations.
The pipeline crosses 90 to 115 feet below Lake Oahe with heavy wall pipe and, as we all know,
the pipe is inspected, tested and re-tested prior to being placed into service to ensure its longterm
Third, we respect the constitutional right of all assembled in North Dakota to voice their opinions for or
against projects like ours. However, threats and attacks on our employees, their families and our
contractors as well as the destruction of equipment and encroachment on private property must not be