Proposed Oil Pipeline Faces Regulatory Hurdles

By CATHERINE LUCEY, Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Texas company seeking to run an underground oil pipeline through Iowa has a laborious approval process to get through before it can start digging.

Energy Transfer Partners LP is behind the project, which would carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois, cutting diagonally through 17 Iowa counties along the way. The pipeline would use a 30-inch diameter pipe to carry at least 320,000 barrels a day.

The company says the pipeline would allow them to transport oil more safely than by trucks or rail, but environmental activists are already aggressively campaigning against the project and calling on Gov. Terry Branstad to oppose it.

Branstad says he hasn’t made a decision about whether he would support the project.

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