Labor and business leaders across the Midwest cheered the decision by the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline. Iowa, the fourth and final state to approve the project, joins Illinois, North Dakota, and South Dakota in a mission to develop energy infrastructure capable of meeting the demands of the 21st Century.
The $3.7 billion project will create 8,000 to 12,000 local jobs during construction and translate into millions in state and local revenues. Economies all along the route will feel a direct impact from increased use local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and other essential services.
Chad Carter, vice president and business agent for Des Moines-International Union of Operating Engineers Local 234 attended yesterday’s hearing and applauded the approval. “I’m very, very pleased with the board’s decision. I think they made the right choice Iowans, for the taxpayers of Iowa,” Carter said.
A chorus of local leaders were quick to echo Carter, noting the numerous benefits the pipeline will bring to Iowa, the region, and the nation. “This is fantastic and certainly a big step in getting Bakken barrels to quality markets and further displacing foreign barrels,” said Ron Ness, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
In a statement, Dwight Baldwin, president of the Iowa State Grange commended the Board’s decision, stressing the importance of American energy to Iowa’s farmers. “Dakota Access represents an opportunity for Iowa to benefit from American energy that will help lower farmers’ costs throughout our state,” said Baldwin
From a resurgent manufacturing industry to lower gas prices, it is safe to say that the domestic energy boom is redefining America’s future. Investing in critical infrastructure projects like Dakota Access now will ensure the benefits of reliable, affordable energy are realized for generations to come.