As we continue to watch the members of the Iowa Utilities Board hold their public deliberations over the Dakota Access Pipeline, it has become clear that the decision will involve weighing the importance of several aspects of the project.
A very important and undeniable factor is the substantial economic benefit that the pipeline project will bring to the state of Iowa. After all, the pipeline represents a $1 billion investment in Iowa alone. A recent column in The Cedar Rapids Gazette underscores the economic potential of the project:
This multibillion dollar project will deliver short- and long-term economic benefits to our state, employing thousands of construction workers and providing a much-needed boost to the communities in which they live and work. All of this will lead to tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue. Over the long-term, it will contribute to our communities in the form of property taxes to support state and local government. At the same time, it will help to promote the energy security of our country. In challenging economic times with great global uncertainty, we need to enhance the infrastructure needed to support domestic energy production. All Iowans should stand together to support this project.
With at least 50% of the workers on the project being sourced from the communities around the pipeline route, it is clear that the economic potential of the Dakota Access Pipeline should be a significant factor in the decision of the Iowa Utilities Board. Creating a safe and modern energy infrastructure also generates economic opportunity, and that is something that the IUB should consider.
Read the rest of the column here.