Last week, Chris Jundt, president of Envision Natural Resources, Inc., published an opinion piece in the Dickinson Press emphasizing the importance of the Dakota Access Pipeline and urging the North Dakota Public Service Commission to take the necessary steps to approve the project. “I urge the PSC to get through the approval process like Illinois and South Dakota have so the hundreds of workers who will build this pipeline can roll up their sleeves and get to work.” Jundt said.
Jundt, who has been involved in the pipeline business for more than 33 years, goes on to commend Dakota Access for its demonstrated commitment to landowners and communities along the pipeline’s route. “Ensuring that landowner concerns are respected has been embedded in the operating principles of Dakota Access from the outset, and continue to drive easement negotiations today, Jundt wrote adding that, “The company’s pipeline constructors will work extensively to ensure minimal impacts to the land by isolating fueling equipment or storing the fuels outside sensitive environmental areas to avoid spills, working with low weight-bearing equipment and separating the top soil from the subsoil to protect the land — our most precious resource.”
Furthermore, Jundt highlights millions of dollars in increased tax revenues the project will bring to North Dakota, saying that, “Dakota Access will pay an estimated $32.9 million in sales tax revenue to North Dakota during construction. Once operational, the pipeline will make an annual property tax payment to the traversed North Dakota counties each year in service. The estimated property tax to be paid in North Dakota in its first year in operation is $13.1 million.”
The Dakota Access Pipeline project has already received approval in both South Dakota and Illinois, it is time for Iowa and North Dakota to follow suit and issue the necessary permits for this important infrastructure project.
In a recent letter to the editor published in the Keokuk Daily Gate City Patrick Poepping of Quincy, Ill emphasized the need for U.S. energy independence and praised the Illinois Commerce Commission’s decision to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“It is important that pipelines of this nature be constructed if we are to maintain our competitive position in today’s world,” Poepping said, adding that, “This project has the potential to make the United States decrease our dependency on foreign oil. Without a doubt, the ICC made the correct decision regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
Furthermore, Poepping points out that our current system of transporting crude oil by rail is not a long-term solution for shipping our resources. “The Dakota Access Pipeline gives us a safer, faster, and overall more reliable way to transport this domestic oil,” he says.
Increased turmoil in the Middle East has only intensified our nation’s need to relieve its long-held addiction to foreign oil. We have a plethora of domestic energy resources right here in the Unites States, but like Mr. Poepping said, we do not have adequate infrastructure to meet today’s needs. Pipeline projects like Dakota Access are essential to further capitalizing on our own resources and alleviating the need for foreign imports.
Chad Carter, an operating engineer with years of experience working on various construction sites, knows a thing or two about the kind of men and women that large pipeline infrastructure projects such as Dakota Access require to be constructed successfully. The vice president of IUOE Local 234, based in Des Moines, wrote a column in The Des Moines Register explaining to the public the expertise of the men and women working on pipelines.
Although it may seem simple, constructing a pipeline is in fact a highly complex process that requires a wide-array of skills and expertise. Operators like myself across all the trades regularly participate in specialized training programs that allow us to employ modern technologies and work practices that often exceed state and federal requirements. (…) Our workforce is not new to pipeline construction and collectively has built thousands of miles of critical energy infrastructure across Iowa and the United States.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is slated to create between 2,000 and 4,000 jobs in Iowa during its construction. The company proposing the project has agreed to give half of those jobs to local union halls along the route, ensuring that local communities benefit from this project.
Read the full column here.
In the Newton Daily News, Ryan Hollinrake, a native Iowan and avid outdoorsman expresses his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline project in an LTE because of the commitment to a land impacts mitigation plan. According to the letter, energy infrastructure is essential but must be balanced with protecting land and ecosystems.
Read more here.
In a recent editorial from The Quad City Times, the paper supported the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline stating, “Dakota Access’ plan makes sense in a world that still runs on gas.”
Read more here.
Today the Illinois Commerce Commission granted approval to Dakota Access to construct the proposed pipeline across Illinois.
The MAIN Coalition’s Chairman, Ed Wiederstein, issued the following statement upon approval:
The MAIN Coalition applauds the decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission to issue a permit for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Over the past year, the ICC has conducted a comprehensive and objective review of the application and has concluded that the pipeline is essential to the supply of affordable, domestic energy. Illinois leads the Midwest in crude oil refining capacity and it will undoubtedly continue to play a central role in powering the American economy for generations to come.
LIUNA stated the following after hearing the ICC’s announcement:
The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) applauds the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) forward thinking to support the creation of thousands of family supporting jobs for Illinois’ construction workers.The decision to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) will not only put Laborers to work, but will help to expand the economies of cities and towns across the entire state.
“The ICC’s approval is an acknowledgement to the quality and safety that LIUNA members are known for,” said LIUNA Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager John F. Penn. “Our members go through a state of the art training program to do this work safely.”
LIUNA has 4 accredited training facilities in Illinois where hands-on training includes up to 164 hours of pipeline specific instruction.
Bill Fleshli, Executive Director of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association stated the following:
Growing safe and reliable access to America’s energy resources is the purpose of a pipeline project like Dakota Access. The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association is encouraged that the Illinois Commerce Commission took the appropriate steps to review and approve this important infrastructure project. Projects like Dakota Access are necessary and vital to bringing affordable energy supplies both to Illinois and throughout the Midwest.
The Dakota Access Pipeline project is one step closer to construction with today’s announcement that the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has granted the necessary permit. Upgrading and expanding pipeline infrastructure is a critical element to further capitalizing on America’s domestic energy resources. The Dakota Access Pipeline will allow us to safely transport crude oil from Bakken region to important markets in Illinois and across the nation.
In addition to benefiting from the creation of thousands of new construction jobs and economic incentives, Illinois will also be home to two key heavy equipment suppliers of the project. Peoria-based Caterpillar, Inc. and Moline-headquartered John Deere have already been contracted to supply more than $200 million in equipment needed to build the pipeline. Purchases of this magnitude will undoubtedly be felt throughout the supply chain, triggering further job creation and product innovation.
The approval of the Dakota Access project in Illinois allows us to further benefit from proven and tested pipeline technology to carry our valuable domestic energy resources.
In a recently announced deal, Energy Transfer Partners sent a clear message to the people of North Dakota and the Upper Midwest in the firmness of their commitment to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. The company bought land in Williams County in order to construct pump houses for the future Dakota Access Pipeline, a “backbone” for the system delivering American energy to market.
Dakota Access is taking a long-term view to the opportunities in the Bakken. ETP spokesperson Vicki Granado was quoted as saying:
We don’t have a crystal ball (…) But those within the industry understand this is a cyclical business. So at some point everyone fully expects the price of oil to fully recover. This certainly has happened in years past. We are preparing to hopefully have a pipeline for the long-term to carry us out of the Bakken.
With the South Dakota PUC approving the pipeline in their state, Dakota Access is confident that all the relevant agencies involved in approving this investment will recognize the steps that the company has taken towards ensuring that the pipeline is built in the safest way possible and with minimal disturbance. Infrastructure investments by companies looking to commit to our region are vital to the continued growth and success of the Upper Midwest.
Farming is one of the most energy intensive operations in America, and in a petroleum-based society we are reliant on oil for everything from machinery, to lubricants, to the diesel fuel and gasoline that we use both in our farm equipment and in the vehicles that move our products to market.
The Dakota Access pipeline is one of the important projects that will expand access to energy resources benefiting Iowa’s economic growth, including the agricultural rural sector of our economy. America’s rural economy is dependent upon agriculture, and agriculture is dependent on affordable energy resources. At the IUB hearings in Boone, the Iowa State Grange highlighted the positive impact the pipeline could have on Iowa’s farmers. It’s not the first time either, another chapter of the Grange in Ohio recently released a study along with professors from Hillsdale College in Michigan highlighting pipeline benefits to this highly energy dependent industry.
Farmers are dependent on affordable energy resources, but have recently been negatively impacted by rail backlogs caused by oil trains from the Bakken. Dakota Access represents a solution, it is an important piece of infrastructure that will benefit farmers and the Iowa agricultural sector for years to come through both affordable energy, and ease the rail logjam that has created shipment delays for farmers across the region. Without pipelines like Dakota Access America will continue to be forced to rely on an aging rail infrastructure which is overburdened with oil trains. This creates further congestion and delays for cargoes, especially impacting time-sensitive deliveries of agricultural products. This results in lost profits for business and agriculture throughout our region.
Iowa’s economic future is still being written, but responsible, safe, and respectful development of new pipelines will help to ensure that the energy that we need gets safely from American oil fields to American gas tanks.
Today, Ross Eisenberg of the National Association of Manufacturers took the stand at the Iowa Utilities Board hearing to discuss some of the benefits that pipelines have on American manufacturing.
Manufacturing has witnessed an unprecedented uptick in growth thanks to the abundance of affordable domestic energy. A resurgence once thought unimaginable has become the reality for thousands of businesses large and small across Iowa and the United States. Energy infrastructure projects like the Dakota Access pipeline are critical to further advancing America’s energy independence and powering an industry that represents the backbone of the world’s largest economy.
In addition to the benefits of low cost energy, manufacturers also play a central role in supplying the critical components necessary to build a pipeline. From steel pipe and heavy construction machinery to high-tech pipeline monitoring systems, manufacturers throughout the supply chain contribute significantly to these large-scale projects. Dakota Access has already signed contracts with three Midwestern firms, Caterpillar, Vermeer, and John Deere, to supply more than $200 million in construction equipment. Purchases of this magnitude, made possible because of planned construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, allow these companies to grow, hire more employees, and dedicate more resources to engineering the products of the future.
The industrial revolution of the 1800s propelled America to become the economic powerhouse of the world. Today, with a reliable supply of affordable, domestic energy we again have the opportunity to demonstrate what it means to be Made in America.