Yesterday over a hundred supporters gathered in Boone to voice their approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline during a public comment period in front of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). Representatives from businesses, trade associations, labor groups and the agriculture community delivered a unified message of support for the $3.9 billion project that will deliver a flood of short and long-term economic benefits. “This project is an economic must for the consumers of America,” said Tom McCune, business manager for Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union 25. McCune went on to emphasize that, “We build things to the highest standards and by the safest means possible.”
Ross Walsh, a veteran and current apprentice with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 234 encouraged the IUB to grant the construction permit for the project saying, “The Dakota Access project offers the chance for not just myself, but for thousands of highly skilled workers to build their careers in the construction trade.”
“A reliable domestic energy source is a better alternative than importing products form regions in the world filled with conflict and hostile intentions toward the U.S.,” Walsh said. “The Dakota Access project benefits the local and state economy. When I am working on a project I spend my money at local restaurants, convenience stores, sometimes staying at local hotels. And I also pay Iowa taxes. That revenue supports other jobs and local economies.”
The valuable dialogue at the hearing further affirmed that the Dakota Access Pipeline is an opportunity that Iowa can’t afford to forgo. We strongly encourage the IUB to take note of this overwhelming support and grant the necessary permits.