To: All Partnership Employees
From: Kelcy Warren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Re: Dakota Access Pipeline Project Update
I want to provide the entire Energy Transfer family with an update on the Dakota Access Pipeline
project. Recent events in North Dakota and Washington, DC have brought the project to the forefront of
national media attention. I recognize that many of you are receiving questions about our work and I want
to be the first to share with you our commitment to the project, what we know, and where I am focused.
First, I am proud of our work on Dakota Access. As one of the largest U.S. infrastructure companies, our
experience in designing, constructing, and operating natural gas, crude oil, and refined products
pipelines is extensive. We have designed the state-of-the-art Dakota Access pipeline as a safer and more
efficient method of transporting crude oil than the alternatives being used today, namely rail and truck.
Today the 1,172 mile project is nearly 60 percent complete, employs more than 8,000 highly trained
skilled labor workers who are safely constructing it, and we have spent just over $1.6 billion on
equipment, materials and the workforce to date. Once operational, the project will safely move
American oil to American markets. It will reduce our dependence on oil from unstable regions of the
world and drive down the cost of petroleum products for American industry and consumers.
We are committed to completing construction and safely operating the Dakota Access Pipeline within
the confines of the law. On Friday, a federal judge reaffirmed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’
previous decision to permit construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Despite the judge’s ruling that
the project is in compliance with U.S. rules and regulations, the Department of Justice, Department of
the Army and Department of Interior later announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is
determining “whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions” and called on the company
to voluntarily halt construction. We intend to meet with officials in Washington to understand their
position and reiterate our commitment to bring the Dakota Access Pipeline into operation.
Second, our corporate mindset has long been to keep our head down and do our work. It has not been
my preference to engage in a media/PR battle. However, misinformation has dominated the news, so we
will work to communicate with the government and media more clearly in the days to come.
In the meantime, I want to share with you information about our work on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
• The right of way for the entire pipeline has been obtained. All four states the pipeline traverses –
North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, and Iowa – have issued favorable certificates, permits and
approvals for construction.
• Nearly the entire Dakota Access pipeline route is across private land. In addition, neither the
land abutting nor Lake Oahe itself is subject to Native American control or ownership. Despite
this, we worked to meet with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leaders on multiple occasions in the
past two years and gave the U.S. Army Corps data for their 389 meetings with more than 55
tribes across the project, including nine with The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe at Lake Oahe. We
– like all Americans – value and respect cultural diversity and the significant role that Native
American culture plays in our nation’s history and its future and hope to be able to strengthen
our relationship with the Native American communities as we move forward with this project.
• Nearly the entire pipeline route in North Dakota – and the entire portion the protestors are
focused on – is located immediately adjacent to an existing natural gas pipeline built in 1982.
The route also parallels a high voltage electric transmission line. This land has been studied,
surveyed, and constructed upon – at least twice before – over the past several decades.
• Multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no
sacred items along the route. State archeologists issued a ‘no significant sites affected’
determination in February on the North Dakota segment of the pipeline. If any potentially sacred
objects were to be found, archaeologists, environmental inspectors, or trained construction staff
are on site throughout construction to ensure their proper care and that proper notifications are
• Concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded. Multiple
pipelines, railways, and highways cross the Missouri River today, carrying hundreds of
thousands of barrels of oil. Dakota Access was designed with tremendous safety factors and
redundancies, including compliance with and exceeding all safety and environmental regulations.
The pipeline crosses 90 to 115 feet below Lake Oahe with heavy wall pipe and, as we all know,
the pipe is inspected, tested and re-tested prior to being placed into service to ensure its longterm
Third, we respect the constitutional right of all assembled in North Dakota to voice their opinions for or
against projects like ours. However, threats and attacks on our employees, their families and our
contractors as well as the destruction of equipment and encroachment on private property must not be
We appreciate the work of local sheriffs and law enforcement to date. I have directed our team to work
closely with local, state and federal officials to ensure the safety and protection of our construction
contractors and employees, contractors’ equipment, private land and those whose right it is to peacefully
protest. Together we must promote a peaceful discourse and path forward. We are committed to
protecting and respecting the welfare of all workers, the Native American community, local
communities where we operate, and the long-term integrity of the land and waters in the region.
Finally, many of you have asked what you can do. Here are a few ways you can support Dakota Access:
1. Continue to do your jobs in a thoughtful and professional manner. Your conduct and
commitment demonstrates to the world that we are playing by the rules and are committed to
completing this important infrastructure project.
2. Help explain to your friends and neighbors the facts about the work that you are doing. There has
been an enormous amount of misinformation out there and you are our best ambassadors to the
3. Contact your elected representatives – all of them – to tell them how important this project is to
your livelihood. Remind them that the company fully complied with the regulatory process and
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a nationwide permit and other essential permits for our
I am confident that as long as the Government ultimately decides the fate of the project based on science
and engineering, the Dakota Access Pipeline will become operational bringing a safer means of
transportation to a much needed supply of oil to communities across the country. So we will continue to
obey the rules and trust the process.
As the situation warrants, I will continue to communicate directly with you so that you can be fully
informed of what’s going on and what you can do to help.
Thank you again for all that you do.
UPDATE - Response from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:
Today, Energy Transfer Partners Chairman Kelcy Warren released a statement responding to the recent court decision and DOJ announcement about construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The statement below from Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe can be quoted in full or in part.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will continue to explore all legal, legislative, and administrative options to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline has already led to the destruction of our sacred sites.
It is unfortunate that the corporate world chooses to ignore the millions of people and hundreds of tribal nations who stand in opposition to the destruction of our lands, resources, waters, and sacred sites.
Energy Transfer Partners has demonstrated time and time again that the bottom line for them is money. The bottom line for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is and will always be protecting our lands, people, water, and sacred sites from the devastation of this pipeline. Our fight isn’t over until there is permanent protection of our people and resources from the pipeline.