A new column co-authored by Ed Wiederstein, chairman of the MAIN Coalition, and Bill Gerhard, president of the Iowa State Building & Construction Trades Council, makes it abundantly clear that the Dakota Access Pipeline is benefiting the Iowa economy.
“Throughout Iowa work continues on the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and already the long-touted benefits are being felt from Lyon County to Lee County. From the beginning we’ve touted the benefits and supported its construction because of the good it will do for our state — and now, with the project more than three quarters of the way complete in Iowa — we continue to see the many benefits we have extolled over the past two years.”
Wiederstein and Gerhard have been strong advocates for the landmark energy infrastructure project, often citing the thousands of jobs and millions in economic activity it will generate. But now, as evident in communities across Iowa, the case no longer has to be made, the benefits are here and they’re making a difference.
““The 4,000 construction jobs being generated along the 348 miles of pipeline represent a direct cash infusion into local economies in each county along the pipeline route. Recently, the Sioux City Journal wrote, ‘It’s not easy to put an exact dollar amount on the economic impact of the pipeline construction, local leaders say, but it’s not hard to find evidence that those workers are spending money in the area.’”
The influx of pipeline workers has meant restaurants, hotels, convenience stores and laundry facilities remain busy and close to capacity. That’s good news for business owners and the local economy, results that were consistently alluded to throughout 18 open houses across Iowa as well as during the Iowa Utilities Board hearings in November and December of 2015. Iowa stands to benefit from this pipeline from the construction phase through its operation.”
Wiederstein and Gerhard also note that unlike many large infrastructure projects, Dakota Access, despite being a public benefit, comes at no cost to taxpayers. “Large public infrastructure investments often come at a significant cost to state taxpayers, who are left holding the bag when road crews have finished rebuilding bridges or repaving highways,” they wrote. “But private infrastructure investments like the Dakota Access Pipeline do no such thing.”
Click here to read the full column in the Des Moines Register.