In an opinion piece published in The Hill by Bill Gerhard president of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council and Dawna Leitzke, executive director for the South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association, the authors point out that for more than two years many people within the states where Dakota Access is being constructed have actually supported the project.
In the piece Mr. Gerhard and Ms. Leitzke write: “In recent weeks, a growing amount of media attention has been focused on the ongoing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Reports of trespassing, arson, and attempted murder are deeply troubling. Equally worrisome is the protest’s rapid spreading from North Dakota into South Dakota, Iowa and other states – a trend that promises only to grow unless law and order are restored to the region. Unfortunately, the voices of those who live in the states where the pipeline is being constructed are not being heard, which is why we’d like to share our perspective.”
We’ve noted the presence of anti-development activists before among the protesters at Standing Rock, and often it’s their activities that the media covers.
Local voices matter too, public support and a need for this project led to the Dakota Access Pipeline’s approval by four separate state utility regulators.