ND oil leases in free fall: Dakota Access, KXL on-ramp become non sequitur

More than $600,000 in bonus payments were collected Tuesday during a quarterly mineral acre lease auction held by the state, the smallest amount secured in a regularly scheduled quarterly auction since 2007. Leases in Williams County drew in just over half of the lease dollars, with $321,709 coming from 2,764 acres. This was followed by Divide County with $125,328 coming from 4,538 acres. [Bismarck Tribune]
Less than 3 percent of 8,000 acres in Iowa affected by a proposed pipeline has been surveyed by a professional archaeologist. The US Army Corps of Engineers are just required to perform archaeological surveys on 16 of the 17 major river and stream crossings.
Energy Transfer Partners spokesman Chuck Frey told North Dakota's Public Service Commission Thursday that 56 percent of the easements needed along the North Dakota route have been obtained. The company wants to build the 1,100-mile pipeline to move 450,000 barrels of North Dakota crude daily to Illinois. The $3.8 billion pipeline also would pass through South Dakota and Iowa.
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Iowa’s state archaeologist contends the proposed Bakken Pipeline carrying crude from North Dakota to Illinois should face the same scrutiny as a state project with potential to disrupt archaeological sites. A public agency, such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources or the Iowa Department of Transportation, would be required in such a project to test land for archaeological significance, wrote John Doershuk, director of the Office of the State Archaeologist, in a May 22 letter to the Iowa Utilities Board. “If this were an Iowa DOT or DNR project, the entire area of potential effect would be included in requirements for archaeological compliance and (the Bakken Pipeline) should be subject to the same level of scrutiny to which we hold Iowa agencies,” he wrote. Dallas-based Energy Transfer requested a permit from the Iowa Utilities Board for its subsidiary Dakota Access LLC to build the Bakken Pipeline for crude oil, which would cut diagonally across 343 miles in Iowa. [The Dickinson Press]
A Minnehaha County judge ordered nearly two dozen landowners who oppose the Dakota Access pipeline project to stand aside and allow developers to case their properties for condemnation.
Metal pin flags used to mark the pipelines so excavators can safely work in the area are often left behind, creating hazards for cattle when the metal winds up in hay bales. “They are everywhere out here,” said McKenzie County rancher Vawnita Best. “It looks like a confetti plant blew up.”
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Indigenous Environmental Action (IEN), an international non-profit based in Minnesota also is intervening against the Dakota Access Pipeline in South Dakota. IEN opposes the proposals for Keystone XL, Enbridge Line 13, and Albert Clipper pipelines. [Talli Nauman, Native Sun News]
TransCanada has spent well over $100,000 getting its KeystoneXL ecocide into the veins of teevee users.

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