Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

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Conoco and Phillips 66 announced on November 18, 2001 that their boards of directors had unanimously approved a definitive agreement for a "merger of equals". The merged company, ConocoPhillips, became the third-largest integrated U.S. energy company based on market capitalization and oil and gas reserves and production. On November 11, 2011 ConocoPhillips announced that Phillips 66 would be the name of a new independent oil and gasoline refining and marketing firm, created as ConocoPhillips split into two companies. ConocoPhillips kept the current name of the company and concentrated on oil exploration and production side while Phillips 66 included refining, marketing, midstream, and chemical portions of the company. Photo: Hugh Pickens all rights reserved.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


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Contents

Master Index of Articles about Phillips 66

The 587 foot tall Mammoet PTC 140 crane, seen here from North First Street, towers over the Refinery Complex in Ponca City. The supercrane was used to move two new 232 ton coker reactor units within the refinery on September 29, 2013. Phillips was willing to invest $70 million in the two new coker reactor units because the Ponca City Refinery is one of the best run, safest, and most profitable of Phillips' fifteen worldwide refineries and Garland wants the refinery in Ponca City to continue to run smoothly and profitably. This photograph of the supercrane in Ponca City was taken from almost two miles away from the crane. Photo: Hugh Pickens All Rights Reserved.
Hugh Pickens, an analyst who closely follows Phillips 66, speaks with Phillips CEO Greg Garland (right) about the disposition of the North Tower, South Tower, and Research West at Phillips' Ponca City Refinery after Garland's speech to the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce on August 13, 2014.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations

Latest News about Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

Over 200 Indigenous Nations have descended upon Canon Ball, ND to take a stand against Phillips 66 funded Dakota Access Pipeline. Senators Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Ben Cardin, and Ed Markey sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to direct the US Army Corps of Engineers to require a full environmental impact statement for the Lake Oahe crossing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded im part by Phillips 66. The senators added that "the project's current permits should be suspended and all construction stopped until a complete environmental and cultural review has been completed for the entire project." Over 200 Indigenous Nations have descended upon Canon Ball, ND to take a stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. "You can't drink oil and you can't eat money!" Photo: Peg Hunter Joe Brusky Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Frank Phillips Respected Native Americans' Rights and Traditions. Phillips 66 founder Frank Phillips was well known for the respect he showed towards Native Americans, a respect that was fully reciprocated. On March 28, 1931, Frank Phillips was adopted into the Osage Tribe in a ceremony held at Woolaroc. Following the ceremony, Frank - Eagle Chief - was dressed by the Osage Chiefs in an official costume and was presented with a split buffalo hide by Zack Miller of the 101 Ranch. The adoption resolution was etched in English and Osage on the hide. It marked the first time the Osage had ever adopted a white person into their tribe.

The Osage Nation Supports the Standing Rock Sioux. The Osage Nation is providing emergency supplies to the protesters at Standing Rock and has issued a proclamation supporting Standing Rock opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners. Photo: Woolaroc
Protests Turn Violent at Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline. Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66, turned violent as demonstrators supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe faced off with private security officers from Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and security officers threatened protesters with dogs. Tim Mentz Sr., who helped start the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Tribal Historic Preservation Office, said bulldozers had likely dug through burial grounds with little regard and without allowing members of the tribe a chance to look for human remains. Photo: Democracy Now

January 18, 2017: Federal Study on Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline to Move Forward

ABC News reported on January 18, 2017 that U.S. District Judge James Boasberg denied Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners' request to stop the Corps from proceeding until he rules on whether the company already has the necessary permission to lay pipe under Lake Oahe, the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The Army published a notice Wednesday of its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement on the Lake Oahe crossing. ETP won't be able to lay pipe under the reservoir while the study is ongoing; it is currently blocked from doing so anyway. A study could take up to two years, but the study notice can be withdrawn if Boasberg were to eventually rule that ETP has permission for the crossing, Army attorneys said. The notice says public comments will be accepted until Feb. 20 on "potential issues, concerns and reasonable alternatives" that should be considered in a study.

The Standing Rock Sioux and its supporters believe the four-state pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites. The tribe issued a statement Wednesday saying the study is "yet another small victory on the path to justice."[1]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

January 17, 2017: Builders of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline File Motion to Bar Environmental Study by US Corps of Engineers

Yahoo News reported on January 17, 2017 that Energy Transfer Partners, builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline funded in part by Phillips 66, has filed a motion to bar the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from initiating an environmental study for its controversial Dakota Access pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe in North Dakota. ETP has requested that a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Columbia stop the Corps from initiating the environmental impact statement process until a ruling has been made on whether the company already has necessary approvals for the pipeline crossing. The Corps said it would publish a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday stating its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the requested easement at Lake Oahe. The notice will invite interested parties to comment on potential issues and concerns, as well as alternatives to the proposed route, which should be considered in the study.[2]

December 29, 2016: Standing Rock Activists Target Profits of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

The Guardian reported on December 29, 2016 that Native American activists are targeting the Dakota Access pipeline’s finances in an effort to further strain the oil corporation and cause continuing delays that they hope could be disastrous for the project focusing on an approaching January 1, 2017 deadline that the operator, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), has cited in court records. ETP wrote in a filing this year that the pipeline “committed to complete, test and have DAPL in service” by the start of 2017. And if the company did not meet its contract deadline, then its shipping partners had a “right to terminate their commitments”. But in emails to the Guardian, DAPL spokeswoman Vicki Granado claimed that January was just an “initial target” and not a “contractual date”, which is “much later”, though she refused to say when. Her statement, which contradicts the company’s official court testimony on multiple occasions, has prompted accusations that the corporation has either committed perjury or is lying to reporters. Regardless of the significance of the January date, opponents of the project argued that the continuing suspension of the project is already having a big impact on the ETP’s bottom line.

The financial challenges for Energy Transfer come at a time when the company is already in a precarious economic situation due to broader industry trends, analysts said. Global oil prices began to collapse in 2014 after shippers committed to DAPL, and production in the Bakken Shale oil field has fallen, which has created major hardships for drillers, according to the recent Ieefa report. That means the existing pipeline infrastructure may be adequate to handle regional oil production, and that if the contract deadline does expire, shippers could be eager to pull out or renegotiate favorable terms.

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a Standing Rock tribe member who owns land where one of the main camps remains in place, said the DAPL corporation was “panicking” about its finances and misleading the public. The company should not be trusted, she said, noting that the construction site was being monitored to ensure that DAPL workers do not start drilling under the Missouri river, which provides the tribe’s water supply. “We are preparing because we know we have a fight on our hands. We will be standing our ground no matter what.”[3]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

December 23, 2016: Enbridge Stalls on Purchase of Stake in Phillips Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

The Duluth News Tribune reported on December 23, 2016 that Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. and its joint venture partner Marathon Petroleum Corp. now have until March 31, 2017 to back out of a deal to purchase a stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The previous deadline to terminate the sale was December 31, 2016. The Enbridge/Marathon purchase was announced August 2, 2016 just before pipeline protests erupted around a river crossing north of the Standing Rock Reservation. SEC filings show the joint venture is to pay $2 billion for a 49 percent interest in Bakken Holdings Co. LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners that owns 75 percent of the Dakota Access pipeline. Phillips 66 owns the remaining 25 percent of the Dakota Access Pipeline. None of the companies involved cite a reason to push back the termination date in SEC filings, though uncertainty over the project’s future could play a part.[4]

December 13, 2016: Protesters of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Say 176,000 Barrel Oil Spill in western North Dakota 'Validates Struggle'

176,000 gallons of crude oil spilled went into the Ash Coulee Creek, just 150 miles from the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp. North Dakota officials estimate that more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil has leaked from the Belle Fourche Pipeline over the past week into the Ash Coulee Creek in western North Dakota validating the concerns of those who spoke out against the project for months, activists said. "The spill gives further credence to our position that pipelines are not safe," said Tara Houska, a Native American environmental activist who has resided at the camp since August. "Oil companies' interest is on their profit margins, not public safety." Photo: Jennifer Skjod/North Dakota Department of Health

NBC News reported on December 13, 2016 that North Dakota officials estimate that more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil has leaked from the Belle Fourche Pipeline over the past week into the Ash Coulee Creek in western North Dakota validating the concerns of those who spoke out against the project for months, activists said. "The spill gives further credence to our position that pipelines are not safe," said Tara Houska, a Native American environmental activist who has resided at the camp since August. "Oil companies' interest is on their profit margins, not public safety." One of the protesters' central arguments for months has been that, despite assurances from Energy Transfer Partners — the Dallas-based company funding the $3.7 billion project — an oil spill would be inevitable. And the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe believes that a spill would devastate the Missouri River, which is the main water source for the tribe. In an interview last month, Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren told NBC News that he could not assure the tribe that an oil spill could not potentially occur. Warren would only say that the Dakota Access Pipeline was prepared to withstand such an event. "They can say they have all the latest technologies to safeguard against a leak," Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II told NBC News. "But when that leak happens, and it will, all those safeguards will go out the window."[5]

The leaking segment of the pipeline was built in the 1980s. Since then, construction materials and pressure monitoring equipment have improved, and tighter regulations have been put in place. "It's hard to compare one company, especially one that has had a pipeline in the ground for maybe 40 or 50 years, to a brand new pipeline," says Carl Weimer, executive director of the nonprofit Pipeline Safety Trust. "It's not just the old ones that fail, new ones can fail also." Since 2010, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, operators have reported about 200 crude oil spills per year, on average. Most of them are comparatively small — think a few bathtubs full or less. The Belle Fourche pipeline leak is the largest in North Dakota since 2013. But the same company that owns and runs the pipeline was involved in another oil spill in Montana in 2015 that leaked 30,000 gallons of crude into the river. At one point, tests showed traces of oil in the local drinking water. Still, generally these incidents are low probability, high impact events, and John Stoody with the Association of Oil Pipelines says they remain the most efficient way to go. "They're also the safest way to move crude oil and petroleum around," says Stoody.[6]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

December 12, 2016: Donald Trump Says He'll Solve the Dakota Access Pipeline Question

UPI reported on December 12, 2016 that President-elect Donald Trump promised quick action on the Dakota Access oil pipeline if it's not "solved" by the time he's scheduled to take office in January. "Let me not answer the Dakota [oil pipeline question] because perhaps that'll be solved by the time I get there, so I don't have to create enemies on one side or the other," Trump told Fox News. "But I will tell you when I get to office, if it's not solved, I'll have it solved very quickly." Trump did not elaborate on what "solved" implied.[7]

December 5, 2016: Trump Team Pledges Support for Completing Blocked Dakota Access Pipeline

The Wall Street Journal reported on December 5, 2016 that a spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump said the incoming administration supports completing the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66. “With regard to the Dakota Access Pipeline, that’s something that we support construction of and we’ll review the full situation when we’re in the White House and make the appropriate determination at that time,” said Jason Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Trump. The statement by the Trump transition team, however, cast doubt on whether that decision would hold any sway after the new administration takes over in January. Pipeline experts said that Mr. Trump would have several options once he takes office to enable the $3.8 billion pipeline to proceed. That could include directing the Secretary of the Army to reinstate a previous permit for the reservoir crossing, or issuing an executive order approving the pipeline.[8]

However Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and an early ally of Dakota Access opponents, praised Obama’s decision. He said this “big win for tribal rights, for environmental quality and for every American who has stood in solidarity with the water protectors” should survive after Obama leaves office. “It now falls to the Trump administration to follow the law, treat this entire process with the respect and seriousness it demands, and honor the sacrifices of the Americans who put themselves in harm’s way to demand justice at Standing Rock,” Grijalva said.[9]

December 5, 2016: Could Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Lose Its Contracts with Oil Companies on January 1?

Democracy Now reported on December 5, 2016 that according to Amy Goodman, a new report exposes "The Rickety Finances Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline," published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and the Sightline Institute that spotlights a potential economic weakness of the project: the January 1st deadline by which Energy Transfer Partners had promised oil companies it would have completed construction. Missing the January 1st deadline opens up the possibility the pipeline company may lose its contracts with oil companies.

"One of the fundamental findings of our report was that the oil market has changed dramatically since the pipeline was first proposed in early 2014," says Clark Williams-Derry. "Back then, oil prices were at $100 a barrel or more, and oil production in North Dakota was rising. It kept rising and rising. And all the forecasts said that oil prices were going to remain high and that oil production in North Dakota was going to remain robust. But almost as soon as the companies signed up its first set of shippers, the first commitments from oil companies to ship through the pipeline, you started to see oil markets collapse. You saw prices fall from $100 a barrel down to $50 a barrel. And as that happened, oil companies in North Dakota started to pull back. They stopped—they weren’t drilling as much. A lot of them were starting to lose money from some of their oil projects in the Bakken region in North Dakota. And so, what you started to see is a decline in production. You’ve already seen a 20 percent dip in production in the Bakken region since oil prices started to collapse. And it’s still collapsing. It’s still declining by a percent or two every month. And if those declines—that decline in production continues, well, it’s not clear that the pipeline’s capacity is going to be needed at all."

“Oil markets have changed radically since ETP first locked in its contracts,” Williams-Derry said. “Shippers have to be asking themselves if the contracts they signed in early 2014 still make sense. ETP boxed itself in with the January 1 deadline.”[10][11]

December 4, 2016: Corps of Engineers Blocks Drilling of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Oil Pipeline

The NY Times reported on December 3, 2016 that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has won a major victory in its battle to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, being built near its reservation when the Department of the Army announced that it would not allow the pipeline to be drilled under a dammed section of the Missouri River. The announcement set off whoops of joy inside the Oceti Sakowin camp. Tribal members paraded through the camp on horseback, jubilantly beating drums and gathering around a fire at the center of the camp. Tribal elders celebrated what they said was the validation of months of prayer and protest. “It’s wonderful,” Dave Archambault II, the Standing Rock tribal chairman, told cheering supporters who stood in the melting snow on a mild North Dakota afternoon. “You all did that. Your presence has brought the attention of the world.” The Standing Rock Sioux had objected to the pipeline’s path so close to the source of their drinking water, and said any spill could poison water supplies for them and other reservations and cities downstream. They also said the pipeline’s route through what are now privately owned ranches bordering the river crossed through sacred ancestral lands.

The Army said it would look for alternative routes for the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in a statement. The move could presage a lengthy environmental review that has the potential to block the pipeline’s construction for months or years.

Though the Army’s decision calls for an environmental study of alternative routes, the Trump administration could ultimately decide to allow the original, contested route. Representatives for Mr. Trump’s transition team did not immediately respond to requests for comment. There was no immediate response from Energy Transfer Partners, but its chief executive, Kelcy Warren, has said that the company was unwilling to reroute the pipeline, which is intended to transport as much as 550,000 barrels of oil a day from the oil fields of western North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois.[12]

November 30, 2016: Two Thousand Veterans to Protect Protesters of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

UPI reported on November 30, 2016 that the Veterans Stand For Standing Rock group said it plans to gather up to 2,000 veterans to help protect Dakota Access Pipeline protesters from what it describes as abusive and humiliating tactics committed by a "militarized police force." Veterans Stand For Standing Rock has called on veterans joining the protest to bring body armor, gas masks, earplugs and shooting mufflers, due to possible use of a sound cannon by police and asked veterans not to bring drugs, alcohol or weapons. "This event ... will not tolerate hate, violence or divisive behavior of any kind. We're doing this to support our country so let's do it with honor, working together," the group wrote on Facebook. "We can stop this savage injustice being committed right here at home. If not us, who? If not now, when?"

Police forces have been criticized for using tear gas and other non-lethal methods, such as rubber bullets and water cannons amid freezing temperatures, to disrupt the protests. "Are you going to treat us veterans who have served our country in the same way as you have those water protectors?" said Loreal Black Shawl, a Native American eight-year U.S. Army veteran. "We're not there to create chaos. We are there because we are tired of seeing the water protectors being treated as non-humans."

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple this week signed an emergency evacuation order to clear Dakota Access Pipeline protesters from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers territory.[13] Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

November 21, 2016: Police, Citing ‘Ongoing Riot,’ Use Water Cannons on Dakota Access Protesters in Freezing Weather

Police Use Water Cannons on Dakota Access Protesters in Freezing Weather. Police used water cannons to disperse a group of about 400 protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, as they tried to move past a barricaded bridge toward construction sites for the project. As temperatures in Cannon Ball, N.D., dropped into the 20s, police in riot gear sprayed activists with a hose mounted atop an armored vehicle and formed a line to prevent them from advancing up the road.

The Washington Post reported on November 21, 2016 that police used water cannons to disperse a group of about 400 protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, as they tried to move past a barricaded bridge toward construction sites for the project. As temperatures in Cannon Ball, N.D., dropped into the 20s, police in riot gear sprayed activists with a hose mounted atop an armored vehicle and formed a line to prevent them from advancing up the road. Protesters also reported being pelted with rubber bullets, tear gas and concussion grenades during the standoff, which lasted until late Sunday night.

Protesters, who call themselves “water protectors,” have argued that the barricade prevents emergency services from reaching the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and a nearby camp they have used as a staging ground for demonstrations. “Folks have a right to be on a public road,” said Dallas Goldtooth. “It’s absurd that people who’ve been trying to take down the barricade now have their lives at risk.” The sheriff’s department told the Tribune that the bridge has been closed since October because transportation officials were concerned about its structural integrity.[14]

November 16, 2016: Scores Arrested in Nationwide Protests Against Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

NBC News reported on November 16, 2016 that dozens of protesters against Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, were arrested in what organizers called a "National Day of Action" by self-proclaimed "water protectors" near Army Corps of Engineers offices from Los Angeles to New York City. The protests planned for more than 300 communities across the U.S. were an intended show of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Indian tribe, which says its drinking water and way of life are threatened by the proposed pipeline. In Los Angeles, an estimated 1,500 protesters gathered peacefully in the financial district, while hundreds participated in a march at Daley plaza in Chicago. Sen. Bernie Sanders joined a crowd in front of the White House, and police in riot gear met protesters marching in Denver. In Mandan, North Dakota, about 40 miles from where the pipeline would cross on the border of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, 350 protesters blocked a railroad with a pickup truck and other debris. More than 25 were people were arrested, some on felony charges, according to the Morton County Sheriff Department.

Over 1,500 anti-Dakota Access Pipeline protesters marched in Lower Manhattan, many holding signs and placards decrying the pipeline, and others warning of a bleak future for their cause under a Trump administration. "It's important for us to show solidarity across the country for those of us who can't be there at Standing Rock," said Korina Emmerich, a Brooklyn resident and member of the Puyallup tribe. "It's so important to show that we are not stopping until they stop building the pipeline," said Emmerich, carrying a sign that read "Don't sign our Mother Earth over to pollution, war + greed."

The fate of the project lies with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For weeks, the agency has been conducting a federal environmental review of the land in question. In its letter Monday, the Corps did not provide a timeline for its final decision.[15]

November 12, 2016: What Will the Trump Presidency Mean for Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline?

NBC News reported on November 12, 2016 that according to Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the incoming Donald Trump administration will ensure the completion of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. "I'm 100 percent sure that the pipeline will be approved by a Trump administration," said Warren. "I believe we will have a government in place that believes in energy infrastructure." In June, Warren donated $100,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee for Trump's campaign, and a further $3,000 directly to the Trump campaign. For his part, Trump's campaign financial disclosure forms revealed the President-elect's investments totaling between $500,000 and $1 million in Energy Transfer Partners, suggesting a possible vested financial interest in the completion of the pipeline.

Warren, who has remained publicly silent on the pipeline for months as protests forced a halt in the pipeline's construction, labeled most of the protesters at Standing Rock as "violent mobs." He repeatedly praised the work of local law enforcement, despite reports of police brutality, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail. "It's unbelievable how they've conducted themselves," said Warren.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said that Warren's remarks reflected the mindset of a "Dallas-based billionaire" unconcerned with the well being of his tribe. "Energy Transfer Partners' assertion that there are no sacred sites affected is another example of how they ignore our voice and fail to listen to our serious concerns," Archambault said in the statement. "Once again, a Dallas-based billionaire and the state of North Dakota's archeologists continue to render our voice meaningless regarding our own understanding of our traditions, spirituality and culture."[16] Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

November 5, 2013: Iowa Landowners Criticize Dakota Access Pipeline Work: 'They Show No Respect'

Iowa Landowners Criticize Work on Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline: 'They Show No Respect' ountless landowners across Iowa have petitioned county inspectors, supervisors and state regulators, claiming that questionable construction practices are worsening tensions between landowners and Dakota Access LLC, funded in part by Phillips 66. "It's evidence that even as the pipeline nears completion in Iowa, opposition to the pipeline and the way it has been built shows no signs of ebbing," writes Kim Hardy. "And some say the state has failed to do enough to protect landowners who now have pipeline running through their property. Dakota Access, however, maintains it has upheld its commitments to landowners. Photo: The DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) being installed between farms, as seen from 50th Avenue in New Salem, North Dakota. Tony Webster Flickr Creative Commons. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Des Moines Register reported on November 5, 2016 that countless landowners across Iowa have petitioned county inspectors, supervisors and state regulators, claiming that questionable construction practices are worsening tensions between landowners and Dakota Access LLC, builders of the 1,170-mile pipeline. "It's evidence that even as the pipeline nears completion in Iowa, opposition to the pipeline and the way it has been built shows no signs of ebbing," writes Kim Hardy. "And some say the state has failed to do enough to protect landowners who now have pipeline running through their property. Dakota Access, however, maintains it has upheld its commitments to landowners."

Cyndy Coppola said she and her nephew have found several 30-inch steel rings and other debris on their 80-acre family farm in Calhoun County. She was astonished to see that crews have no garbage bins on site to collect refuse as they go. "I guess our biggest complaint is they show no respect," said Coppola, 68, who lives in Des Moines and was arrested for trespassing while protesting construction on her land in October. Inspectors have assured Coppola that crews eventually will come back to clean up the site. But she's skeptical, even as she watches debris getting pushed underground by heavy construction equipment. She worries that buried debris will eventually end up wrecking a combine during harvest. "We don’t think they’re going to make any effort to unbury what's already been covered up," she said. "That's a joke, because they’ve just gotten by with it all along."

Dakota Access spokeswoman Vicki Granado said the company takes its construction commitments "very seriously." And she said no complaints concerning the 1,295 parcels under construction in Iowa have been determined to be founded by the Iowa Utilities Board or county supervisors. "It is our goal to maintain this record throughout the rest of construction," Granado said, "which is nearing completion in Iowa."

David Lowman said crews performed work in his Story County fields the day after a late August flash flood dumped more than 2 inches of rain. No farmer would have torn up muddy cornfields that way, he said. "I consider it to have been way too muddy and wet to do a proper job," he said. Pocahontas attorney James Hudson worries that pipeline crews are woefully unprepared to navigate northwest Iowa's complicated web of underground drainage tile. He represents drainage districts in the area and has practiced drainage law for decades. "I've never encountered the lack of understanding and cooperation as I have experienced with Dakota Access Pipeline," he wrote in an Oct. 25 letter to the Iowa Utilities Board. "The fact that there are serious problems in the construction of this pipeline is not surprising."[17]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

November 2, 2016: Obama Says Army Corps is Weighing Whether to ‘Reroute’ Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

The Washington Post reported on November 2, 2016 that President Obama said Tuesday that his administration was considering ways to “reroute” the Dakota Access Pipeline after a week of violent clashes between authorities and activists protesting the controversial project. “We’re monitoring this closely,” Obama said. “My view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans. And I think that right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline. We’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of First Americans." Even as Obama raised the possibility of rerouting the pipeline, he seemed to suggest that it would go forward.

But many climate activists have called on Obama to halt the project altogether, the way he blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline last year between Canada and the U.S. Gulf Coast. Jamie Henn, a spokesman for the environmental group 350.org, said in an email Wednesday that it would be hypocritical for Obama to allow the pipeline to be completed. “There’s no reroute that doesn’t involve the same risks to water and climate,” Henn said. “The president must submit Dakota Access to the same climate test as Keystone XL, a test it will surely fail.”[18]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

October 28, 2016: Garland Expects Permit "in Relatively Short Order" to Complete Dakota Access Pipeline

Yahoo reported on October 28, 2016 that Greg Garland expects a permit will be granted to build a controversial oil pipeline under the Missouri River near Native American land in North Dakota. "There's not that much left to be finished once we get the easement to go underneath the Missouri River," Garland told analysts on a conference call. "So I think that can be wrapped up in relatively short order." The U.S. Justice and Interior Departments along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted construction under the Missouri in September due to protests by Native American tribes who say the pipeline would disturb sacred land and pollute waterways supplying nearby homes. Construction is continuing on sections of the pipeline away from the Missouri River, Garland said. Phillips owns 25 percent of the project.[19]

October 22, 2016: 83 Arrested at Protest Against Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

UPI reported on October 22, 2016 that police in North Dakota arrested 83 protesters after violent clashes at the construction site of the Dakota Access pipeline. The protest happened in rural Mandan, N.D., where workers are installing the 1,172-mile oil pipeline that will run from the oil fields in North Dakota south as far as Illinois. A group of protesters walked some three miles off the nearest road with a large all-terrain vehicle, slashed its tires and fastened themselves to the machine, according to the Bismarck Tribune. One individual chained herself to the steering wheel. Another man put his arm through a hole in the vehicle's door, than put his hand in a bucket of dried cement.

When police arrived on scene, a group of 300 or so protesters, Native Americans who view the construction as a violation of their sovereignty along with environmentalists, refused to leave. Police formed a line near the protesters and some tried to breach the line; officers responded with the use of pepper spray. Two officers were injured, though not seriously, in the confrontation. Police said they used the least amount of force possible to remove the protesters from private property. "We want to use the most nonlethal method possible," Morton County Sheriff's Department Rob Keller told the Bismarck Tribune. It took police about five hours to clear the scene of protesters so work in the area could resume. WDAZ-TV reported protesters were mostly charge with a combination of assault on a peace officer, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, engaging in a riot, resisting arrest and fleeing an officer on foot.[20]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

October 18, 2016: Equipment Fire Called Arson on Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

UPI reported on October 18, 2016 that authorities said arson is the likely cause of an Iowa fire that caused about $2 million in damage to construction equipment on Dakota Access oil pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66. A preliminary investigation that included the FBI and the Iowa Fire Marshal found that the fires were intentionally set. It was at the same location that equipment was damaged in an Aug. 1 fire, which police suspect was started by vandals. Dakota Access LLC, the company constructing the controversial, 1,172-mile pipeline across four states, offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Saturday's incident.

A protest against the pipeline in North Dakota turned violent last month, and several of the approximately 800 demonstrators said they were attacked with mace or bitten by guard dogs. The rally was organized after it was noted the pipeline traverses Native American graves and sacred sites.[21]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

October 16, 2016: Ponca Tribe Members Protest at Phillips 66 Ponca Refinery

The Ponca City News reported in a front page story that dozens of members of the Ponca Tribe protested at Phillips 66's Ponca Refinery carrying signs decrying the pollution of water and air, a multitude of earthquakes and other negative results attributed to fracking. Tribal members also protested against oil pipelines across waterways, sacred lands and other tribal lands like the Phillips 66 funded Dakota Access Pipeline. Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners that has been the subject of months of protests by hundreds of members of the Standing Rock Sioux and supported by over 200 Indigenous Nations.[22]

October 13, 2016: United States Senators Call for a Halt to Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

Senators Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Ben Cardin, and Ed Markey sent a letter to President Barack Obama this week asking him to direct the US Army Corps of Engineers to require a full environmental impact statement for the Lake Oahe crossing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66. The senators added that "the project's current permits should be suspended and all construction stopped until a complete environmental and cultural review has been completed for the entire project."

Protests over the 1,172-mile pipeline erupted again this week after Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project, resumed construction Monday morning. The pipeline, which would run from North Dakota to Illinois and cost $3.78 billion, has drawn criticism over its potential impact on the environment and the damage it could inflict to sacred grounds and water sources of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. In late July, the tribe filed a lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers, alleging that the agency failed to properly consult the tribes before approving the pipeline. On Sunday, a federal appeals court denied the tribe's request to halt construction on the pipeline. The Obama administration repeated its request for Energy Transfer Partners to voluntarily suspend construction, but the company has disregarded that request.[23]

“In light of the decision of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reject the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's request for a temporary halt to construction, the project’s current permits should be suspended and all construction stopped until a complete environmental and cultural review has been completed for the entire project,” the senators wrote. “If there is one profound lesson that indigenous people have taught us, it is that all of us as human beings are part of nature. We will not survive if we continue to destroy nature.”[24]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

September 23, 2016: Future Operator of Phillips Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Tops U.S. Crude Spill Charts

Operator of Phillips Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Tops U.S. Crude Spill Charts. Sunoco Logistics, the future operator of Dakota Access Pipeline, partially owned by Phillips 66 and delayed this month after Native American protests in North Dakota, spills crude more often than any of its competitors with more than 200 leaks since 2010, according to a Reuters analysis of government data. Reuters analyzed data that companies are obliged to disclose to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) when they suffer spills and found that Sunoco leaked crude from onshore pipelines at least 203 times over the last six years. Photo: Koch pipeline spill Little Falls MPCA Photos Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Reuters reported on September 23, 2016 that Sunoco Logistics, the future operator of Dakota Access Pipeline, partially owned by Phillips 66 and delayed this month after Native American protests in North Dakota, spills crude more often than any of its competitors with more than 200 leaks since 2010, according to a Reuters analysis of government data. Reuters analyzed data that companies are obliged to disclose to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) when they suffer spills and found that Sunoco leaked crude from onshore pipelines at least 203 times over the last six years. PHMSA data became more detailed in 2010. In its examination, Reuters tallied leaks in the past six years along dedicated onshore crude oil lines and excluded systems that carry natural gas and refined products. The Sunoco data include two of its pipeline units, the West Texas Gulf and Mid-Valley Pipeline. That made it the operator with the highest number of crude leak incidents, ahead of at least 190 recorded by Enterprise Products Partners and 167 by Plains All American Pipeline, according to the spill data reported to PHMSA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Sunoco's spill rate shows protestors may have reason to be concerned about potential leaks. The main option that was considered for routing the line away from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation was previously discarded because it would involve crossing more water-sensitive areas north of the capital Bismarck, according to the project's environmental assessment.

The company has made previous efforts to improve safety, a former Sunoco employee who declined to be identified said. It overhauled safety culture after a spill in 2000, and did so again another in 2005 that dumped some 6,000 barrels of crude into the Kentucky River from its Mid-Valley Pipeline. Sunoco acknowledged the data and told Reuters it had taken measures to reduce its spill rate. "Since the current leadership team took over in 2012, Sunoco Pipeline has enhanced and improved our integrity management program," Sunoco spokesman Jeffrey Shields told Reuters by email. This significantly cut the amount of barrels lost during incidents, he said.[25]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

September 16, 2016: Delay in Phillip 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Could Cause $1.4 Billion in Losses in a Year

Delay in Phillip 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Could Cause $1.4 Billion in Losses in a Year. Builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, filed a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit detailing its estimated economic losses and claiming it could lose $1.4 billion in a year if delays continue. The government has asked the company to voluntarily halt construction 20 miles east and west of Lake Oahe, located by the Missouri River it is set to cross. North Dakota has been the focus of large Native American protests as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is now suing the federal government for giving developers the right of way, says the project threatens cultural sites and their drinking water source. Photo: Joe Brusky Flickr

ThinkProgress reported on September 16, 2016 that builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, filed a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit detailing its estimated economic losses and claiming it could lose $1.4 billion in a year if delays continue. “Even a temporary or limited injunction would have devastating long and short term impacts to the [Dakota Access Pipeline] project,” said the brief. In the brief, the company said customer contracts could be permanently lost if Dakota Access’ January 1, 2017 delivery schedule isn’t kept. In addition, 8,000 workers would be affected. Even a temporary delay would mean loses of over $430 million, according to Dakota Access. Just demobilizing the construction could cost $200 million. “These harms are irreparable,” Dakota Access, a company owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, said. The staggering figures the company listed have not been independently verified.

The Dakota Access pipeline has secured from the Army Corps of Engineers and the four Midwestern states most permits it needs. However, the pipeline lacks a federal easement for Lake Oahe, located by the Missouri River it is set to cross. The government also asked the company to voluntarily halt construction 20 miles east and west of the lake. North Dakota has been the focus of large Native American protests as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is now suing the federal government for giving developers the right of way, says the project threatens cultural sites and their drinking water source.[26]

The Chicago Tribune reported on September 17, 2016 that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said in a ruling late Friday that it needs more time to consider the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's request for an emergency injunction. It said it will issue another order setting a date for oral arguments on the motion. The order "should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion," the panel said. Vicki Granado, spokeswoman for Dakota Access LLC, said the company does not comment on pending litigation. Craig Stevens, spokesman for the MAIN Coalition, Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now, called the ruling disappointing but said his group respects the panel's decision. "Judge Boasberg, in his thoughtful and thorough opinion last week, confirmed that the Army Corps of Engineers did their jobs expertly and in accordance with the law," Stevens said in a statement. "We are confident that another fair review of the corps' work will render the same decision."

The corps also issued a ruling on Friday granting the tribes a temporary permit that allows demonstrators to legally protest on federal lands managed by the agency. In turn, the tribe assumes responsibility for maintenance, damage and restoration costs, the security and safety of protesters, and liability insurance. Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, North Dakota's lone member of the U.S. House, called the special permit a good compromise. "It protects the protesters' right to assemble and free speech, while at the same time protecting legal commerce to go forward," Cramer said. "It sets up parameters and certainly puts liability where liability belongs, with the protesters and the leaders of the protest movement."[27]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

See also:

September 10, 2016: Future of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Is Uncertain

US Suspends Work on Part of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline. The federal government has temporarily blocked construction on part of Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, acknowledging complaints from the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribal nations that their concerns had not been fully heard before federal overseers approved a pipeline that the tribe said could damage their water supplies and ancestral cultural sites. Photo: Joe Brusky Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Meenal Vamburkar writes at Bloomberg that the Obama administration's halt on work on a stretch of land where Energy Transfer Partners, partly owned by Phillips 66, is building its controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline could threaten to thrust the fate of the project into the hands of the next president. The government's intervention leaves Energy Transfer officials in limbo, whereas "at least with the court they had some certainty on timelines and how things are moving forward. Here they have no idea yet when this review is going to be complete," said Brandon Barnes, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. Though he said he sees no threat yet to completing the project on schedule by the end of the year, "we don't know how long this delay will last."

The question is whether "the prospect for future changes alleviates tension sufficiently so that things simmer down and the pipeline can go forward," said Christine Tezak, managing director at research firm ClearView Energy Partners in Washington. "If tensions don't diffuse, I don't know when we'll see it." The best-case scenario is a few months of delay, which could mean the project falls into the hands of the next administration, she said.

Last year, the Obama administration intervened to reject plans for Keystone. President Barack Obama said the project - which had been the subject of heated debate for seven years - wouldn't make a meaningful contribution to the U.S. economy, lower gasoline prices or increase the country's energy security. The Dakota Access case highlights "the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes' views on these types of infrastructure projects," the Justice Department said, noting a plan to invite tribes to formal consultations this fall. "It was absolutely the right move," said Jane Kleeb, president of activist group Bold Alliance and, before the current battle, a prominent opponent of TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline. "They listened to the people on the ground and really looked at what's been happening."[28]

According to Reuters, should the pipeline be delayed for a substantial period, it would affect producers who had counted on demand for oil to be rapidly shipped to the U.S. Gulf, as well as shippers who could find themselves stuck with crude, putting them at risk of unloading it at a loss. It is unclear what the workaround will be if it is unable to build on the current route, though such reroutes can be costly. Other North American pipelines have in the past been rerouted in response to protests. Brigham McCown, the former head of the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration under George W. Bush, said that reroutes can be fairly expensive, particularly if it needs to be moved substantially away from the locale of a dispute. "It could delay a project by years. If you're moving the pipeline to an area that's far enough, you may need to go through the regulatory process gain and get permits like ones for water and endangered species. It takes time," McCown said.

The lack of pipeline infrastructure also creates a problem for shippers. There is little commercial storage available in North Dakota, so storing large volumes is not a possibility. Shippers may have no choice but to sell off the oil at a loss, transport it via more expensive rail routes, or move crude through already-crowded pipelines to the U.S. storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma. That would hurt cash-strapped Bakken producers already dealing with the two-year global oil market rout, because of competitive prices from foreign imports. "In the absence of a new alternative, (Bakken) crude will have to use the existing infrastructure to move," said Sandy Fielden, the director of research for commodities and energy at Morningstar. "Producers will have to take lower prices to compete with imports."[29]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

September 9, 2016: US Suspends Work on Part of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

The New York Times reported on September 9, 2016 that the federal government has temporarily blocked construction on part of Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, acknowledging complaints from the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribal nations that their concerns had not been fully heard before federal overseers approved a pipeline that the tribe said could damage their water supplies and ancestral cultural sites. The Justice Department and other agencies called for “serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.” The government’s move, announced minutes after a federal judge rejected efforts by the Standing Rock Sioux, appeared to seek to ease tensions and reset the terms of a passionate debate that has cast the 1,170-mile Dakota Access pipeline either as an economic boon for the Plains or a threat to Native American sovereignty, waters and lands.

In a joint statement from the Departments of Justice, the Interior and the Army, the government announced that the pause applied to the pipeline’s path across a sliver of federal lands and under a dammed section of the Missouri River known as Lake Oahe. The lake, created by government-built dams a half-century ago, is a water source for the Standing Rock Sioux and a focal point of the dispute. The Army Corps of Engineers intends to review its previous decisions under federal environmental and other laws that had given approval for the pipeline. The government also urged the company building the pipeline to “voluntarily pause” all construction for 40 miles around Lake Oahe. The rest of the pipeline construction would not be affected.

“Today’s news is a stunning development,” said Jan Hasselman, a lawyer with Earthjustice, an environmental legal group that is representing the Standing Rock Sioux. “It vindicates what the tribe has been saying form the beginning: The process was wrong, and the legal standards for projects like these need reform.”[30]

The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued a statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that included the following:

“We appreciate the District Court’s opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. However, important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain. Therefore, the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior will take the following steps. The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws. Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time. The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution. In the interim, we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.[31]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

September 4, 2016: Protests Turn Violent at Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline As Tribe Accuses Company of Desecrating Sacred Sites

Protests Turn Violent at Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline. Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66, turned violent as demonstrators supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe faced off with private security officers from Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and security officers threatened protesters with dogs.

Tim Mentz Sr., who helped start the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Tribal Historic Preservation Office, said bulldozers had likely dug through burial grounds with little regard and without allowing members of the tribe a chance to look for human remains. Photo: Democracy Now
Frank Phillips Respected Native Americans' Rights and Traditions. Phillips 66 founder Frank Phillips was well known for the respect he showed towards Native Americans, a respect that was fully reciprocated. On March 28, 1931, Frank Phillips was adopted into the Osage Tribe in a ceremony held at Woolaroc. Following the ceremony, Frank - Eagle Chief - was dressed by the Osage Chiefs in an official costume and was presented with a split buffalo hide by Zack Miller of the 101 Ranch. The adoption resolution was etched in English and Osage on the hide. It marked the first time the Osage had ever adopted a white person into their tribe.

The Osage Nation Supports the Standing Rock Sioux. The Osage Nation is providing emergency supplies to the protesters at Standing Rock and has issued a proclamation supporting Standing Rock opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners. Photo: Woolaroc

NPR reported on September 4, 2016 that protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66, turned violent as demonstrators supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe faced off with private security officers from Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and security officers threatened protesters with dogs. The Morton County Sheriff's Department said protesters marched from their encampment onto private lands, where the pipeline is being constructed. "Once protestors arrived at the construction area, they broke down a wire fence by stepping and jumping on it," the sheriff's office said. "According to numerous witnesses within five minutes the crowd of protestors, estimated to be a few hundred people became violent. They stampeded into the construction area with horses, dogs and vehicles." the Morton County Sheriff's Department said protesters marched from their encampment onto private lands, where the pipeline is being constructed. "Once protestors arrived at the construction area, they broke down a wire fence by stepping and jumping on it," the sheriff's office said. "According to numerous witnesses within five minutes the crowd of protestors, estimated to be a few hundred people became violent. They stampeded into the construction area with horses, dogs and vehicles."[32]

According to KCTV, an estimated 500 protesters entered the construction zone. Pipeline security officers told authorities they were jabbed with fence posts and flag poles during the altercation. Witnesses report that attack dogs and tear gas were allegedly used on protesters. "They were able to stop the pipeline by giving them the run over the next ridge," said George Henry, a bystander. "But understand a few of the warriors received the gas." "I wasn't expecting them to mace, it came out of nowhere," one protester said. "They let the dogs loose on a horse, and they maced a woman in the face, this close range, that's what started it all." A spokesperson for Morton County Sheriff's Department said protestors did assault security officers working for Dakota Access.[33]

Protesters disputed the authorities' account, CNN affiliate KFYR said. Demonstrators said the guards sprayed many of the activists with pepper spray and tear gas, and some protesters were injured by the guards' dogs. "It was kind of scary," Lonnie Favel told KFYR. "A lot of people are out here with their children. Accidents happen all the time with dogs, and people could really get hurt."[34]

According to Indian Country Media, The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion Sunday for a temporary restraining order to prevent further destruction of the Tribe’s sacred sites by Dakota Access Pipeline. “On Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts,” Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said. “They did this on a holiday weekend, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites. The desecration of these ancient places has already caused the Standing Rock Sioux irreparable harm. We’re asking the court to halt this path of destruction.”

“Destroying the Tribe’s sacred places over a holiday weekend, while the judge is considering whether to block the pipeline, shows a flagrant disregard for the legal process,” said Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux. “The Tribe has been seeking to vindicate its rights peacefully through the courts. But Dakota Access Pipeline used evidence submitted to the Court as their roadmap for what to bulldoze. That’s just wrong.”[35]

NPR reported on September 6, 2016 that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it does not oppose the temporary halt of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66. Over the weekend, the tribe filed an emergency motion asking the court to halt construction of the pipeline. In one filing, Tim Mentz Sr., who helped start the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Tribal Historic Preservation Office, said bulldozers had likely dug through burial grounds with little regard and without allowing members of the tribe a chance to look for human remains. "The Corps acknowledges that the public interest would be served by preserving peace near Lake Oahe until the Court can render its well-considered opinion on Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction," the Corp said. "The Corps therefore does not oppose this short and discrete temporary restraining order."[36][37]

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on September 7, 2016 that U.S. District Judge James Boasberg issued an order that work will temporarily stop between North Dakota's State Highway 1806 and 20 miles east of Lake Oahe, but will continue west of the highway because he believes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lacks jurisdiction on private land. The judge said he will rule by the end of Friday on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's challenge of federal regulators' decision to grant permits to the Dallas, Texas-based operators of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will cross North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault II issued a statement after the ruling, saying: "Today's denial of a temporary restraining order ... west of Lake Oahe puts my people's sacred places at further risk of ruin and desecration." Attorney Jan Hasselman with Earthjustice, who filed the broader lawsuit on behalf of the tribe, noted the tribe will "know more by the end of the week about where we're heading."

Over the weekend, workers allegedly bulldozed sites on private land that Hasselman said in court documents was "of great historic and cultural significance to the tribe." The tribe's cultural expert, Tim Mentz Sr., said in court documents that the tribe believes there are human remains in the area and that it wants "an opportunity to rebury our relatives." Lawyers for Energy Transfer Partners filed court documents Tuesday morning denying that workers have destroyed any cultural sites and asking the judge to reject the tribes' request for a temporary work stoppage. The company said it "has taken and continues to take every reasonable precaution" to protect cultural sites.[38]

Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

September 2, 2016: Osage Nation Sends Support to Standing Rock Sioux Protesting Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

Osage Nation Sends Support to Standing Rock Sioux Protesting Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline. “The Osage Nation supports the people of Standing Rock who are protecting the land and waters,” said Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey M. Standing Bear of the situation. “People everywhere should think hard about the priorities of our society. Should the earth be used up by the human race or should we respect the limits of the earth?” Photo: Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey M. Standing Bear Osage Nation

Bartlesville Radio reported on September 2, 2016 that the Osage Nation has expressed their support for the Standing Rock Sioux as they continue to protest the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66. “The Osage Nation supports the people of Standing Rock who are protecting the land and waters,” said Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey M. Standing Bear of the situation. “People everywhere should think hard about the priorities of our society. Should the earth be used up by the human race or should we respect the limits of the earth?”

The Osage Nation is providing emergency supplies to the protesters at Standing Rock. Some of the items the Osages have shipped to those camped at Cannonball River include: 720 blankets, 72 all-weather heavy-duty flashlights and batteries, and 100 hand-held flashlights with batteries. More supplies will be coming from the Osage Nation and Osage Casinos. “Our Chief asked our casino staff last week to mobilize vendors and resources in support of our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock, after we heard the water supply had been cut off to the Cannonball River gathering,” said Byron Bighorse, CEO of Osage Casino. “After finding out that water was in route to them, we asked what other vital provisions they needed. It was determined that blankets, flashlights and batteries were a priority, so we immediately arranged for those items to be rush shipped to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe organizers. We are honored to help,” added Bighorse.

The Sioux Tribe website calls this “another chapter in the long history of the federal government granting the construction of potentially hazardous projects near or through tribal lands, waters, and cultural places without including the tribe.”[39][40]

September 1, 2016: Thirty Arrested in Iowa in Bid to Disrupt Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

Thirty Arrested in Bid to Disrupt Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline. Thirty activists were arrested on the Farm Progress grounds in Boone, Iowa in an effort aimed at disrupting construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners. Photo: Bryan Houlgrave

The Des Moines Register reported on September 1, 2016 that 30 activists were arrested on the Farm Progress grounds in Boone, Iowa in an effort aimed at disrupting construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66. The protest represented one of the largest demonstrations yet in Iowa against the four-state pipeline project. It also was the first time a formal effort was made to encourage a large number of arrests in a bid to obstruct construction work in Iowa. Organizers vowed afterward that additional demonstrations will be forthcoming, along with more arrests. Crystal Defatte, 31, of Bettendorf, a stay-at-home mother with three children, was among those arrested as she stood with other protesters in solidarity against the pipeline project. "Every year you hear about oil spills. I don't want oil in the water that my children drink. This is a moral responsibility for me," Defatte said.

A representative of Precision Pipeline, a contractor for Dakota Access, told the protesters they were not welcome and asked them to leave after they tried to create human chains to block four entrances to the site. Authorities then repeatedly told the protesters they had the opportunity to leave without being taken into custody, but all of those arrested refused to move.

Business leaders and union construction workers have lined up in support of the pipeline project, citing positive economic benefits and a desire for U.S. energy security.[41]

There were no violent events during the protest, and law enforcement officials at the site expressed satisfaction with how it unfolded. Among the protesters was Dick Lamb, who owns land a few miles from the protest site through which the pipeline is passing. "They are tearing through (our property), separating the precious topsoil," Lamb said. "We feel betrayed by our state government, all three branches of it. They didn't stop (the pipeline). They enabled it."[42] Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

August 30, 2016: Judge Rejects Motion to Restrict Protesters of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

Judge Rejects Motion to Restrict Protesters of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline. Federal udge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger has denied a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent activists from interfering with construction in Iowa of the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66. Dakota Access similarly tried to block demonstrators in North Dakota, where an ongoing protest by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the pipeline has expanded to thousands of people. Photo: Protesters in San Francisco by Peg Hunter Flicker Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Des Moines Register reported on August 30, 2016 that a federal judge in Des Moines has denied a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent activists from interfering with construction in Iowa of the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66. The ruling by Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger means protests aimed at halting the $3.8 billion pipeline project will apparently proceed Wednesday in rural Boone County. Ed Fallon, a leader of Bold Iowa, one of the anti-pipeline groups, said he anticipates 50 to 100 people will participate in the protests in the Pilot Mound area, and about 20 activists will risk arrest in an effort to halt the pipeline project. The Dakota Access petition was aimed at restricting Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Bold Iowa, both of which strongly oppose the pipeline project, as well as "unknown parties." CCI and Bold Iowa issued defiant statements after the judge's ruling, although both groups have pledged that any protests will be non-violent. However, some activists have said they will engage in civil disobedience in an effort to halt construction of the pipeline. “We have been in this pipeline fight for over two years, and have vowed to use all of the tools available to us in our fight,” said Adam Mason, state policy director at Iowa CCI. “We will not be deterred or bullied by Big Oil.”

Dakota Access, a unit of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, had asked the court to keep protesters at least 25 feet away from the pipeline project, suggesting it would still allow protesters to exercise their First Amendment rights of free speech.[43] Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

Dakota Access similarly tried to block demonstrators in North Dakota, where an ongoing protest by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the pipeline has expanded to thousands of people. Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II wrote in an New York Times op-ed that the overblown reaction on the part of the oil giant, as well as North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple—who declared a state of emergency over the protests—violated civil and human rights and amounted to the local government "act[ing] as the armed enforcement for corporate interests."

Meanwhile, another federal judge is expected to issue a ruling by Sept. 9 as to whether or not the Army Corps of Engineers violated the Standing Rock Sioux's treaty rights in approving the pipeline.[44]

August 27, 2016: Worker Killed in Accident on Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

The Associated Press reported on August 27, 2016 that a man working on the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, was killed in an apparent accident in western North Dakota, said North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk. Kalk said the man was on a tractor Thursday, covering the underground pipeline with soil and grass seed. Kalk said the company reported Friday that the man suffered a serious head injury, apparently while working on equipment. He was taken to a Minot hospital, where he died.[45] Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

August 24, 2016: Native Americans Wait on Court Decision on Controversial Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

Native Americans Wait on Court Decision on Controversial Phillip 66 Funded Pipeline. At least 300 people opposed to a controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, waited anxiously outside a D.C. federal courthouse this afternoon for a decision on whether or not the project can to continue. And now they’ll have to wait just a little longer. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers on July 27 to stop the pipeline that would cross under the Missouri River, the reservation’s sole source of water. Photo: Sierra Club

PBS reported on August 24, 2016 that at least 300 people opposed to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, waited anxiously outside a D.C. federal courthouse this afternoon for a decision on whether or not the project can to continue. And now they’ll have to wait just a little longer. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers on July 27 to stop the pipeline that would cross under the Missouri River, the reservation’s sole source of water. The corps approved the pipeline last month, but the tribe argues they were not properly consulted, and that cultural and historical sites would be destroyed during construction. Judge James E. Boasberg from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said he will make a decision about the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline on or before September 9. “We’re very concerned because construction is ongoing,” said Jan Hasselman, a lawyer with EarthJustice, an environmental advocacy organization representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “In another couple of weeks or a month there won’t be anything left to protect.” The tribe, whose land is located a half-mile south of the pipeline, has resisted the project for months. People started gathering near the construction site in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in April to stage demonstrations. In recent weeks, hundreds more arrived, and some sparked confrontations with police and construction workers. At least 28 people people were arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing this month. The pipeline company says it halted work after some demonstrators attacked workers with rocks and bottles. With the legal ruling delayed until next month, it is uncertain what will happen at the site and to the several hundred protesters camped nearby. “We have to play by the rules the federal government has given us,” David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, told PBS NewsHour. “We’re still going to pray and be in peace and ensure our strength in unity is powerful.”[46]

August 24, 2016: Iowa Farmers Complain that Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Wrecks Their Soil

The Des Moines Register reported on August 24, 2016 that some Iowa farmers want builders of the 1,154-mile Dakota Access pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66, to put their soil back the way they found it. Francis Goebel now has a scar running across his soybean fields where the dark, fertile topsoil is being stacked on top of several feet of hard clay mixed with clay loam and fear his soil will less suited for growing crops — and much less valuable. "Nature separated those soils for a reason, that's the way I feel," said Goebel, who runs a 164-acre century farm in Sioux County. "If nature put it there, they should put it back the way it was." Although Dakota Access is separating the rich topsoil from the soil beneath, it isn't being as careful with the next two layers, mixing the clay loam subsoil with the hard clay underneath. Goebel acknowledges he was well compensated by Dakota Access for the 12-acre easement the company obtained to cross his land. He received $21,000 per acre for the easement, plus payments for initial crop losses. But he's worried about his future corn and soybean yields. In some places, crews excavated 20 feet deep, meaning the hard clay at the bottom could end up just a couple feet from the ground. "To me, it's a scar."

Tom Konz acknowledges that it is too late for his and his neighbor's land — contractors buried the pipe last week. But he wants other Iowa landowners in the pipeline's path to remain vigilant about their soil as crews begin tearing into the ground. Konz received about $102,000 from Dakota Access, a figure that included payments for the easement, plus three years' worth of crop damage. But he said that's nothing compared with the ongoing costs of anticipated crop losses. "The rest of my life, I guarantee you will see that pipeline forever," Konz said. "It will come up as red (on a yield map). We'll fight it every year for yield loss."

But Dakota Access attorney Bret Dublinski noted that all the contested farms already had tile buried under crops to help drain fields. It is often removed, repaired and replaced, he said. "You cannot consistently argue both that Dakota Access is going to irreparably harm my soil because it hasn’t been changed in 1,000 years and then also say 'I'm concerned about my pattern tile that I put in by turning up the soil,'" Dublinski said. "… Those are arguments that simply cannot exist in the same space."[47]

August 23, 2016: Hundreds of Native Americans Continue Months-Long Protest Against Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline

Native youth and supporters protest in New York against Dakota Access Pipeline. Sioux youth from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota rallied with supporters in Union Square after running 2,000 miles across the United States to protest the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners. Photo by Joe Catron Flickr Creative Commons. Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Nasdaq reported on August 23, 2016 that construction will remain halted on the 1,154-mile Dakota Access pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66, as a federal judge postponed a hearing to determine whether protesters should be prevented from accessing the site near the Missouri River. Tensions between the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which opposes the pipeline, and local police have escalated in recent weeks. More than two dozen protesters have been arrested after they blocked entry to the site 34 miles south of Mandan, N.D. The pipeline's developer, Dakota Access LLP, has filed a lawsuit seeking to block protesters from the site. Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

A coalition of Native American groups that oppose the pipeline sent out an appeal to human rights groups to come to the North Dakota site, calling the situation a crisis. The Standing Rock Sioux argue that the pipeline threatens sacred sites and poses a risk to the tribe's drinking-water supply, since they say the pipeline would cross the Missouri River just upstream from the reservation. "We are committed to peaceful defense of our water and our territory," the groups said.[48]

According to Jack Healy writing in the NY Times, people have been gathering since April, but as hundreds more poured in over the past two weeks, confrontations began rising among protesters, sheriff’s officers and construction workers with the pipeline company. Local officials are struggling to handle hundreds of demonstrators filling the roads to protest and camp out in once-empty grassland about an hour south of Bismarck, the state capital. The pipeline company says it was forced to shut down construction this month after protesters threatened its workers and threw bottles and rocks at contractors’ vehicles. Leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s path, say the protests are peaceful. Weapons, drugs and alcohol are prohibited from the protest camp. Children march in the daily demonstrations. The protesters sleep in tents and tepees, cook food in open-air kitchens and share stories and strategies around evening campfires. There is even a day care. At morning meetings, speakers warn parents to keep their children away from the Missouri River at sunset, and remind one another they are camped out in prayer. For many, the effort was about reclaiming a stake in ancestral lands that had been whittled down since the 1800s, treaty by broken treaty. “Lands were constantly getting reduced, shaken up,” said Dave Archambault II, the tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux. “I could give you a list of every wrongdoing this government did to our people. All of that is frustration pent up, and it’s being recognized.”

Energy Transfer Partners says it has the necessary state and federal permits and hopes to finish construction by the end of the year. The pipeline’s route starts in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota and ends in Illinois. The United States Army Corps of Engineers says it consulted extensively with tribes, including the Standing Rock Sioux, and it says that tribe has failed to describe specific cultural sites that would be damaged by the pipeline.[49] Builders say the pipeline will enable domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation to move Bakken crude oil to major U.S. markets to support domestic demand. Shippers will be able to access multiple markets, including Midwest and East Coast markets as well as the Gulf Coast via the Nederland, Texas crude oil terminal facility of Sunoco Logistics Partners. According to Energy Transfer, the company holds their pipelines to a standard that exceeds state and federal regulations performing routine ground and aerial leak inspections about every 10 days, when federal rules only require these inspections every 14 days.[50]

References

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  3. The Guardian. "Standing Rock activists target Dakota Access's profits to further strain pipeline" by Sam Levin and Julia Carrie Wong. December 29, 216.
  4. Duluth News Tribune. "Enbridge stalls on Dakota Access purchase" by Brooks Johnson. December 23, 2016.
  5. NBC News. "Dakota Protesters Say Belle Fourche Oil Spill 'Validates Struggle'" by Daniel A. Medina. December 13, 2016.
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