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Statement On Reports An Easement For DAPL Will Be Issued

MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement regarding reports from Capitol Hill that the Acting Secretary of the Army has directed the final easement be issued for the Dakota Access Pipeline:

“After nearly 1,000 days since the beginning of this process, we are hopeful that we may be one step closer to the ultimate completion of the project. We appreciate that President Trump is keeping his word to move lawful, carefully sited energy projects forward. This is a positive development for the pipeline, construction workers across the country, and those who seek to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. It also begins the clock that will mark down the moments until the dedicated local and state law enforcement officers, as well as community members throughout North Dakota, will be able to get back to their normal lives. And finally, e hope that individuals on all sides of this issue will be able to move forward peacefully as this process draws to a close.”

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MAIN Coalition Statement on Dakota Access Status Hearing

MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement following today’s status conference that was held in light of President Trump’s order directing the Secretary of the Army to move forward with issuing the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline:

“We appreciate the long, hard hours local and state law enforcement officers have endured in an effort to protect the peace by serving as a buffer between the protesters and the workers.  We hope that soon, President Trump will issue the final easement, construction will be completed, and everyone can go back to their normal lives.”

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Union Leaders Discuss Dakota Access on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Hardball with Chris Matthews

Mark McManus, president of the Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, & Service Techs and Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Wednesday morning to discuss President Trump’s infrastructure plans and recent executive actions to advance the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.

Trump’s support for the pipeline projects came a day after McManus and O’Sullivan joined other union leaders at the White House for a meeting with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and other top aids for a conversation on the nation’s infrastructure needs.

Speaking about Dakota Access, O’Sullivan told co-host Joe Scarborough that the project created thousands of “good middle class jobs,” including 4,500 building trades men and women.

In a separate appearance, McManus and O’Sullivan told Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” that they were “more than encouraged” by their meeting with Trump and his subsequent executive actions to advance the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.

“This was a big day,” said O’Sullivan. “Less than 24 hours ago we were in the Roosevelt Room and the Oval Office — Mark, myself, and some other labor leaders — talking about these very issues and in less than 24 hours there’s five executive orders that are going to make a difference in our economy, our country, and in the lives of men and women we represent.”


What Others Are Saying on President Trump’s Decision to Move Forward on the Dakota Access Pipeline

Bill Gerhard, President, Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council said, “President Trump’s administration has made completion of this project a priority because it has created jobs and will continue to create new opportunities from North Dakota to Illinois. We look forward to finishing this important construction project.”

Ed Wiederstein, Chairman, Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN) Coalition said, “The MAIN Coalition is pleased that the Trump Administration has made the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline an immediate priority and will see construction through. With progress on the pipeline now continuing unabated by federal interference, Midwesterners can look forward to this project finally becoming operational and delivering the energy resources that keep our country energy independent.”

Andy Peterson, President, North Dakota Chamber of Commerce stated, “The pragmatic steps taken by the Trump Administration to ensure completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline are the right decisions for North Dakota businesses. Investment in our resources and infrastructure ensures long term prosperity for our state and the many businesses that support the energy industry. ”

Ron Ness, President, North Dakota Petroleum Council said, “For over half a year North Dakotans have felt the burden of an uncertain future and a lack of decisive action from Washington. We applaud President Trump’s vision for an energy producing, energy independent America that includes sensible investment in our pipeline infrastructure.”

Mike Ralston, President of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry stated, “Since President Trump voiced his support for the project many years ago, ABI and its members were confident that Dakota Access would successfully complete the construction process – and today’s announcement is a crucial step in achieving that goal.”

Dawna Leitzke, Executive Director, South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association said, “The South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association has long recognized the importance of the Dakota Access Pipeline in meeting regional demand for domestically-produced crude oil. President Trump’s timely Executive Order to move the project forward will fulfill that goal…”

Chad Carter, IUOE Local 234 said, “Thousands of IUOE members worked tirelessly to ensure that the Dakota Access Pipeline was constructed safely and efficiently. While these men and women were disheartened by delays in the pipeline’s completion, today’s decision by the Trump administration restored their confidence in the due process of law.”


Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order on the Dakota Access Pipeline

MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement following President Trump’s signing of an executive order directing the federal government to expedite the issuance of the final, already approved, easement for the Dakota Access pipeline:

“We applaud and appreciate President Trump’s immediate and decisive action to expedite the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. President Trump’s decision shows businesses that the rule of law will be respected and demonstrates an affirmation of regulatory certitude to those looking to invest in America.

“The 1,172-mile project has been fully approved by four states and the federal government for months and is more than 95 percent complete at a cost of about $3.5 billion so far. Once operational, it will be among the safest, most technologically advanced pipelines in the world, delivering more than 450,000 barrels of light sweet crude oil per day in an environmentally sensitive and cost effective manner.”

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Statement on President Trump’s Expected Approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline

MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement in response to news that President Trump will sign an executive order allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to move forward:

“We are hopeful and optimistic that President Trump will issue the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and allow Keystone to move forward. It will not only be a positive development for these two projects but also for our nation’s resource development and energy infrastructure as a whole.”

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Democrats, Republicans United On Dakota Access

North Dakota Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp are not letting the latest attempt to derail the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline go unnoticed.

The Obama administration Wednesday threatened to further delay the critical infrastructure project by ordering the Department of the Army to publish a Notice of Intent to require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register. A move that sidesteps the professionals at the Army Corps of Engineers who have already concluded that the project will result in no significant impacts. In fact, the career civil servants at the Army Corps actually recommended that the easement be approved, but were silenced in the face of politics.

Hoeven, a republican, criticized the move, saying it amounted to changing the rules in the middle of a pre-established process. “The company has complied with all federal and state requirements, and should now be allowed to complete the project,” he said in a statement. “Since the current administration will not issue the final easement, the Trump administration should approve it without delay.”

He added that adjustments to the permitting process could be considered going forward, but should not be applied retroactively to a project that has already received approval. “Pipelines like the Dakota Access Pipeline can be built safely and protect both the tribe and everyone living downstream,” he said. “A new EIS will impose months, and perhaps years, of additional difficulty on the people who live and work in the pipeline area.”

Across the aisle, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp echoed Hoeven, saying that the administration’s “legally unprecedented” effort would only promote continued division and delay. “Removing decision-making from the U.S. Army Corps District Office and looking at an issue not properly before the Corps does not provide the certainty, or the security North Dakotans need or that the protesters are seeking,” she said.

“Whether you agree with this position or not, President-elect Trump has not minced words about his support for the project, or his intent to take quick action on the issue, and the outgoing Administration knows that this move only stand to further deepen the divides in our state.”

It should not go unnoticed that, even in a state of political polarization, democrats and republicans agree that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline should be completed without further delay.


Governor Meets with Landowners Affected by Dakota Access Protests

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum recently joined Morton County Commissioners Cody Schulz and Bruce Strinden, as well as Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier for a meeting with area residents affected by the month’s long protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In a statement, the Morton County Board of Commissioners said more than 50 farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners attended the gathering to share their experiences and concerns about the future. Attendees’ spoke of vandalized equipment, missing livestock, trespassing, as well as the stress placed upon families from numerous school lockdowns stemming from protest activities.

“I was very pleased and encouraged by the meeting,” said Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz in a statement. “The discussion was very honest and frank. People are frustrated, and in some cases scared, but I am just so thankful that people took the time to attend. I’m also grateful to the Governor for taking the time to truly hear the concerns of Morton County residents.”

Going forward, landowners said they remain worried about their safety and the process for holding those responsible for unlawful activity accountable.

“I’m glad I got to hear some of the specific concerns of the farmers and ranchers,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. “We will continue to do everything necessary to keep our citizens safe. Public safety has been my top priority from the very beginning, and it will continue to be.”

Unfortunately, pipeline opponents continue to engage in illegal activities that have resulted in numerous arrests. Most recently, protesters attempted to trespass onto private property before destroying private property and endangering law enforcement personnel stationed on the Backwater Bridge.


MAIN Coalition Statement on Notice of EIS for the Dakota Access Pipeline

MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement following news that the Obama administration has sent the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on the Dakota Access Pipeline:

“Despite the policies of the last few years being soundly rejected by the American people, the Obama Administration is using its final hours to allow detainees out of U.S. protection, burrow democratic operatives deep in the federal bureaucracy, and now delay and block lawful infrastructure projects from completion.

“The Coalition certainly believes that the Trump Administration, the courts, and the public will recognize this latest political stunt for what it is – a flailing attempt for relevance. It’s unfortunate that the outgoing administration would try to hamstring the professionals at the Army Corps of Engineers who worked diligently for years to ensure the Dakota Access Pipeline was sited and constructed in the environmentally and culturally sensitive manner.

“We remain optimistic that the incoming Trump Administration will soon issue the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and also demonstrate a willingness to support American infrastructure projects and the American jobs that go along with them.

“Thankfully for the hard-working men and women across the country desperate for a change, hope is finally on the horizon.  Soon we will have a federal government that works for the people – not one that obstructs growth, entrepreneurship, and ingenuity.”

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Increased Energy Production Underscores Need for DAPL

Domestic crude oil production will grow by an estimated 400,000 barrels per day (b/d) over the next two years according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In the latest edition of the Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA said that the U.S. produced averaged an estimated 8.9 million b/d in 2016 and is forecast to rise to 9.0 million b/d in 2017 and 9.3 million b/d in 2018. The upward trend is in part due to increasing tight oil productivity in areas like North Dakota’s Bakken region. According to the EIA, the growth in production is a result of more drilling activity, rig efficiency, and well-level productivity.Growth in domestic production continues to be huge asset to the U.S. economy, sending gas prices to historic lows, stimulating the manufacturing sector, and allowing American foreign policy to be conflicted by the nation’s energy needs. However, this uptick, particularly in the Bakken region, cannot be sustained without the necessary pipeline infrastructure needed to safely and efficiently move resources to critical refining markets across the country.

The state-of-the-art Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) will support American energy independence in a way that guarantees protections for both our communities and the environment.