Next week the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) will convene in Chicago to consider a proposal for a new pump station that would allow Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to increase its pipeline capacity.
Since 2017, the pipeline has been safely transporting nearly 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) from North Dakota to Patoka, IL. And thanks to the continued expansion of crude oil production in North Dakota’s Bakken region, Energy Transfer, operator of DAPL, has proposed a project that would allow the pipeline to carry up to 1.1 million bpd.
The DAPL Optimization plan will deliver much needed relief to the Bakken oil fields that have routinely faced transport constrictions due to a lack of pipeline capacity. The DAPL Optimization proposal, which would support the increased capcity would be done without the need for new mainline pipeline and serve as a key upgrade to the energy and economic landscape of Illinois.
Illinois’ Patoka Oil Terminal is DAPL’s primary offtake and already serves as one of the Midwest’s busiest energy distribution centers. With a storage capacity of up to 19 million barrels, it is also a key component of the region’s energy security.
For Illinoisans, the Patoka Oil Terminal has been a staple of its local and energy communities for decades. Patoka has a storied history in the state’s energy production and now showcases the modern feats of skilled union labor and industry member engineering.
Patoka and the energy industry in the state has also been a boon for unions where they get to hone their skills and earn family – supporting wages. It’s a large part of why Illinois has over 130,000 energy workers.
Most importantly: Illinois citizens support this project and the broader energy industry. A recent poll found that nearly 9 out of 10 Illinoisans agreed the energy industry plays an important role in the state’s economy. Nearly 85% of respondents identified DAPL as a key driver for state and local tax revenues that go to support public services like schools, social services, and police, fire, and emergency responders. Support from 83% of residents on the impressive safety record of DAPL is also worth noting.
Ahead of next week’s hearing, GAIN encourages the ICC to acknowledge the importance of DAPL Optimization and its potential to benefit the state’s economy and union jobs by approving the Optimization project.