Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and four Democratic senators are asking President Obama to order an environmental impact statement for the Lake Oahe crossing of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

In a letter, the five senators said the pipeline's long-term climate effects should be studied, as Oil Change International has estimated that the pipeline could have the same environmental impact as 30 new coal-fired power plants.

The letter said the pipeline, which Energy Transfer Partners LP maintains is nearly completed, is a violation of Native American treaty rights. It said that until there is full and meaningful tribal consultation, all pipeline permits and easements should be revoked or deleted.

In addition to Sanders, the letter was signed by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.).

A spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas said the company had no comment on the letter. She said Energy Transfer has complied with the regulatory requirements for the pipeline. Further, it is committed to protecting cultural resources, the environment and the public safety.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, which crosses most of North Dakota, is waiting for the approval of an easement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The easement would allow pipeline work beneath the Missouri River.

Bloomberg BNA reporter Mark Wolski has the story for subscribers at Senators Ask Obama to Order EIS for Dakota Access Pipeline.