The idea that infrastructure investment benefits not only the people working on specific construction projects, but the economy at large is widely accepted. Energy infrastructure projects are no different. The National Association of Manufacturers commissioned a study which found that crude oil pipelines contributed $31.4 billion to the country’s GDP and that more than 66 different manufacturing subsectors, benefited from the construction of crude oil pipelines by $10 million or more in 2015.
As a multi-billion dollar investment, the Dakota Access Pipeline would create similar benefits for the Midwest region. In a recent column in the Argus Leader, Operating Engineers member Will Thomssen summed up the correlation between the economic effects of past pipeline projects, and DAPL’s potential impact on the region:
The NAM study also showed that crude oil pipelines created over 276,000 jobs thanks to their construction and operation. At the same time, projects like Dakota Access will serve as job creators in our state with 2,000-4,000 well-paying jobs here in South Dakota. In addition, the parts and materials needed to support the project will largely come from America’s manufacturers, ensuring that the pipeline fuels economic growth well outside of the energy industry itself.
The Dakota Access Pipeline has been approved by the utility boards of three of the four states along the route. The pipeline is expected to be functional in the fourth quarter of 2016, if approved.