Members of the MAIN Coalition gathered this morning to express their support for the Dakota Access Pipeline and to spread awareness of the importance of a modern energy infrastructure. The event came a few days after the announcement of an IUB public meeting to discuss the pipeline permit application for the state, and a day after the North Dakota PSC announced their approval of their piece of the project. The utility agencies of South Dakota and Illinois had previously decided to approve their parts of the route. The men and women assembled at the State Capitol emphasized the benefits that the project would bring to the state’s economy and infrastructure.
Representative Ralph Watts of Iowa House District 19 expressed his support for the rally, saying, “as a state that is in the national spotlight, we need to enhance our competitiveness by embracing the Dakota Access project. Iowa’s farmers and businesses, as well as our national economy, benefit from a safe, efficient, inexpensive, and reliable source of fuel and petroleum products that pipelines can help deliver to market. By supporting projects like Dakota Access we can help alleviate our congested roads and railways thereby using those networks to effectively deliver our state’s commodities to market. Our nation, and Iowa, need investments in pipeline infrastructure to boost long-term economic growth.”
Labor leader Bill Gerhard of the Iowa State Building & Construction Trades Council, also present at the demonstration stated his support for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. “In addition to generating millions of dollars in tax revenue and economic growth for our state, the pipeline project would create employment with benefits and job security for thousands of hard-working, skilled Iowa workers. I believe the commitment to use union labor sourced from local halls in each state helps guarantee that the project will be built to ensure safety and protect the environment. LiUNA takes energy infrastructure construction seriously and workers must have prior experience on similar projects and undergo comprehensive training to qualify for work on pipelines.” The pipeline project is slated to create between 2,000- 4,000 jobs during its construction.
“The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) affirms its long standing support for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and stands with businesses, manufacturers and union leaders who understand that vital energy infrastructure projects are essential to our state’s future prosperity and the well-being of Iowa’s working families,” Mike Ralston, president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry said in a statement. “With more than 2 million miles of energy pipelines already in place in the United States, it should be clear to all that the Dakota Access Pipeline is a necessary and welcome addition that would bolster our energy security over the long run.”
Ed Wiederstein, Chairman of the MAIN Coalition, issued the Coalition’s statement, saying, “to compete in the 21st century economy, Iowa needs new energy infrastructure. We can either build more pipelines or more railroad tracks and roads. Pipelines are the safest, most cost-effective, and most environmentally friendly option. The MAIN Coalition is fully in support of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to benefit Iowa’s long term energy needs.”