Following a challenge to their final ruling by a group of landowners on the approval of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline the commissioners of the Iowa Utilities Board voted 3-0 yesterday to uphold their final ruling and allow construction to continue in Iowa.
This comes as good news to the hundreds of members of various craft trade unions who rallied in Des Moines ahead of the hearing, and packed the room with supporters of the project. The stoppage of construction in Iowa had the commissioners voted to revise their final ruling could have been potentially disastrous for the thousands of workers already laying pipe across the state.
In a statement prior to the hearing, Bill Gerhard, President of the Iowa State Building and Constructions Trade Council, issued the following statement:
“The last ditch efforts by opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens to kill the jobs of thousands of Iowans. It is completely selfish of these individuals to threaten an entire workforce with termination solely because they want to throw a wrench in the regulatory system. Construction should be allowed to take place, as it was before, because the letter of the law was followed and this project was approved by the State of Iowa. The rest of Iowa gets it and wants to move forward.”
There is still much work to do in Iowa, and the members of the unions involved in construction are eager to continue working. Thankfully the Iowa Utilities Board recognized the importance of this project to thousands of workers and their families and made the prudent decision for construction to continue unabated by the ongoing lawsuit filed by a select few landowners and their attorneys.