In light of yesterday’s announcement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, MAIN Coalition Members and Advisors spoke out on the decision to further delay the state-of-the-art Dakota Access Pipeline:
James “Spider” Marks, Major General (US Army retired), President of The Marks Collective
“The announcement today will lead to weeks of increasingly dangerous confrontations between police officers and professional agitators. The safety of local police and security forces, the citizens of North Dakota, workers on the ground, Tribal members, and the protestors themselves are now at further risk. Moreover, the continuing delay will push into the North Dakota winter, endangering the children and elderly who have chosen to camp out near Cannonball.”
“The “interests of individuals living in the general area of the right-of-way” that the U.S. Army Corps cites in their statement would best be served by rapid conclusion of this extended process and allowing the project to proceed. Since the Obama Administration intervened in September, more than 400 people have been arrested, hundreds of law enforcement pulled off other jobs to address the violent nature of some protests, and cattle and local livestock slaughtered. The 90-120 days of activity to finish this legally permitted project is critical to putting this community back together and restoring peace. This effort is motivated by a strategic imperative of enhancing and furthering national energy independence. This project has been as thoroughly vetted as any in history. Additional delays seem wasteful and solely politically motivated.”
Ron Ness, President, North Dakota Petroleum Council
“We are troubled by the decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which directly contradicts the will of four separate state governments, an original, thorough assessment of the project by the federal government, as well as two federal court rulings in favor of completing construction.
The risk of a potential spill has been thoroughly studied and extensive safety measures have been implemented to ensure the safe operation of the pipeline. By further delaying the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Corps of Engineers will only bring more instability to North Dakota, as protesters continue to threaten private property and workers along the pipeline route.”
Andy Peterson, President, North Dakota Chamber
“The Obama Administration’s decision to unnecessarily further halt the Dakota Access pipeline, in the name of additional consultation, runs counter to the thorough and careful process undertaken by the men and women of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota’s Public Service Commission. Two federal courts have upheld the process and agreed that the consultative process was thorough and complete. In addition, careful consideration was taken to the routing location of the pipeline and extensive safety mechanisms were included in its design to ensure the safe operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Our state deserves the opportunity to build and operate this project – to delay the project because of a 1,000 feet crossing – is unfair to North Dakotans who rely on our state’s energy resources to fuel and drive our economy. The Administration should strongly reconsider their decision.”
Mike Ralston, President, Iowa Association of Business and Industry
“I am disappointed by the decision to further delay this important national energy infrastructure project. Dakota Access has undergone extensive review and consultation at both the state and federal levels. The delay to a project that is already 84% complete is unfair to our state, the men and women building the project and all those involved from the top to the bottom of the supply chain. We have already seen the extent to which additional delay can have – violence, destruction of equipment, and threats against the individuals building or supporting the project. Enough is enough – the project should not be delayed any further.”
Bill Gerhard, President, Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council
“The Obama administration’s decision to continue delaying the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens the safety and jobs of thousands of Americans and jeopardizes billions of dollars in future development. Dakota Access has lawfully sought and received all of the necessary state and federal approvals, but now, after the project is over 84 percent complete, the White House wants to change the rules. This unprecedented action is harmful to American workers, businesses, and all those who depend on reliable infrastructure.”
Ed Wiederstein, Chairman, MAIN Coalition
“The decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to further delay the Dakota Access Pipeline and not grant the final easement today is extremely disheartening. This pipeline was thoroughly reviewed for nearly two years by the federal and four state governments, including by the Corps of Engineers.
This political decision to postpone construction jeopardizes the safety of all those who live and work near the project. The MAIN Coalition continues to stand for the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline in accordance with the will of the states, the original assessment by the Corps of Engineers, and the rulings of two United States Federal Courts.”
Chad Carter, IUOE Local 234
“The announcement today by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers only threatens further instability and continued protests on the Dakota Access Pipeline job sites, where hard working Americans are being threatened with violence just for showing up to work.”
“This decision will only further enflame protesters who have no regard for the rule of law, and will continue to intimidate workers, threaten acts of violence, and resist lawful removal by police. This decision undermining of the regulatory review process represents a threat to the future of infrastructure projects, and the future of American jobs for years to come.”
Dawna Leitzke, Executive Director, South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association
“Today’s decision to again delay the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline represents an unprecedented step in the wrong direction for the future of American energy independence. This fully approved and permitted project is over 80 percent built, yet Washington has now decided to upend existing law at the peril of American workers and businesses.”