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Local Economies Flourish As Pipeline Construction Nears End

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.


Former PHMSA Administrator: Pipeline Exceeds Requirements

In an article recently published by the Williston Herald, Brigham McCown, former Administration for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA), states that he cannot recall a case where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ever withdrew permits that were validly issued, and he believes any decision to do so should give others pause.

Mr. McCown said on a recent visit to North Dakota, “taking a look at this project and the engineering analysis and I’d like to say based on that review and also visiting with folks on the site today, I am confident that this pipeline is being put in the ground correctly,” McCown said. “It is above what my former agency required, too. In many cases it is well above minimum safety standards.”

He also points out that the Dakota Access pipeline parallels the Northern Border Pipeline, which also runs deep beneath the riverbed at Lake Oahe. The route selected for the Dakota Access Pipeline was meant to parallel this line to ensure that little chance remained for an un-surveyed cultural or archaeological site to be encountered on the route.

But according to Mr. McCown little facts remain in the ongoing debate on the validity of Dakota Access’ already approved construction permits, “The debate right now has nothing to do with the safety of the line itself or its properties[…]In the name of the environment, people are out there undermining environmental safety by opposing these pipelines.”


Retired U.S. Army Maj. General: “Corps Deserves Thanks, Not Attacks”

In an op-ed published in the Omaha World Herald, and The Washington ExaminerRet. Major General Spider Marks expressed his support for the process undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Omaha District Commander Colonel John Henderson.

Major General Marks notes, as we’ve written before, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe choose to not participate throughout the state review process, and willingly had limited to no engagement during the Corps’ own review. Despite repeated attempts to engage the Standing Rock Sioux, the Corps conducted an extremely thorough regulatory review process during the examination of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the conclusion was made that the pipeline would cause No Significant Impact.

General Marks points out the following, “[t]he Standing Rock Sioux alleged in court that the corps improperly permitted pipeline crossings along the Missouri River. But the record shows otherwise, finding that the tribe could not “come up with evidence that the corps acted unreasonably in permitting even a single jurisdictional activity . . . . Tribal leaders alleged that the corps under Henderson’s command failed to consult them as required by law. Yet, the court found, “The corps has documented dozens of attempts to engage Standing Rock in consultations to identify historical resources at Lake Oahe and other PCN crossings.” In fact, even though he was not required to do so Col. Henderson ordered Dakota Access to have tribal officials on site during construction at Corps-permitted sites and to halt construction if historical or cultural artifacts were discovered.

The Corps should be praised for their hard work throughout the review process, not criticized and berated as they have been by protesters and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, or left to withstand the brunt of criticism for a political decision made by the Administration. The findings of the Assessment should speak for themselves. The finding of No Significant Impact should ensure that this pipeline, lawfully permitted, should continue to be constructed per the recommendation, hard work, and dedication of the men and women of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Misinformation Dominates Yet Again in Out-of-Touch Congressional Letter

In a letter addressed to President Obama, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) along with 21 other Democratic members of the House of Representatives again presented another argument riddled with misinformation and emotion rather than the on-the-ground facts concerning the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

The most important point in this letter to once again debunk is that at no point does this pipeline cross Standing Rock Sioux land. Period.

The current route not only parallels an existing pipeline, The Northern Border Pipeline, as well as an electrical transmission line, but the route was specifically selected because the area had already been surveyed for cultural and archaeological artifacts. Thus the land Dakota Access will run underneath has already been excavated, at least twice, leaving little chance of an encounter with an unknown site. Additionally, the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office found that no articles or items of cultural significance were within the pipeline construction corridor.

But importantly, the protests have not been peaceful at all. In fact, protesters have engaged in a myriad of violent and illegal activities. They have set firesslaughtered livestockfired at gun at law enforcement officersburned a bridge, terrorized journalists, and repeatedly trespassed on private property. All the while the federal government has refused aid to North Dakota law enforcement, forcing state resources to provide adequate protection for themselves and for private property. What has been construed as “militarism” is in reality defending the lives of union workers and residents of Morton County.

The federal response to the actions of the protesters has been disappointing. Following an extensive and thorough two year review, including analysis by the state of North Dakota as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, political decision makers have forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to delay the final easement approval following the onset of illegal protest activity. Though the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had the opportunity to voice their comments and concerns during the regulatory processes in North Dakota, South Dakota, and throughout the public review and comment process for the Corps, they failed to do so, and are now holding up a legally permitted infrastructure project.

Everyone has a right to peaceful assembly, and to freely speak their mind. But the actions in Morton County have far exceeded any reasonable litmus test for what constitutes free speech. The Federal Government’s inaction continues to create and foster an environment that is hostile and unfair to local community members and law enforcement officers who call the area home.


The Dakota Access Debate Has Grown Out of Proportion

The Washington Post recently published a supportive opinion editorial from former Senator J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA) and Daryl Owen of Owen Associates which examined how the protest and activity over the Dakota Access pipeline has grown of proportion.

From violent protest activity to millions of dollars of damage to equipment and even disturbing death threats to employees – the tactics being deployed against the project are unseemly and unnecessary.

In the column, Johnston and Owen highlight efforts of sabotage against operational pipelines across the country and the danger that such actions can create. They write that the protests are no longer about opposition to the project, but rather a new tool in the effort to stop the development and use of fossil fuels.

In addition to examining the true nature of the protest and the violence ensuing, Johnston and Owen highlight that, “[t]his is, after all, a pipeline project,” and not simply the first of which would cross the Missouri River – it would be one of dozens that do so carrying American energy products. The final piece of the puzzle, is as they say, “part and parcel of a river-crossing permit the pipeline has already received. It is a simple ministerial action authorizing the pipeline to cross beneath federal lands and, for want of a simple signature by an Army Corps bureaucrat, would finalize the process. By arbitrarily refusing to follow the law, the Justice Department has placed a lawfully permitted, vital $4 billion infrastructure project into suspended animation.”

The authors also note that the tribe who has sought to stall the project “largely refused to engage in [the] consultations” after much inquiry – a fact echoed by a federal court judge who reviewed the Army Corps findings and determinations. Johnston and Owen write that “there is much to be discussed and much to be regretted about the past 150 years of U.S.-tribal relations. But a real estate document for a pipeline river crossing seems hardly the pretext to do so.”

The Administration and Federal Government’s decision to withhold the final piece of multi-billion dollar project, in Owen and Johnston’s own words, it sends “a chilling message to the private sector about the rule of law as it relates to infrastructure development.”

It is simply unacceptable that the Federal Government has continued to delay the completion of this project – after all, their approval was already granted in July of this year. The fact remains, a single 1,000 foot section of an 1100 mile project, is currently held up by opponents who have already stated their mission is far greater than the Dakota Access Pipeline – but simply to withhold the development of America’s energy future.

 

 

 


Senators’ Letter Rejects the Facts

A letter sent by Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley, addressed to President Obama regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline, show just how out of touch these members appear to be with the realities of the permitting and planning process for energy infrastructure projects, and with the on the ground realities of the brutal and illegal actions of anti-pipeline protesters.

To summarize; the letter from Senators Wyden and Merkley argues that the planning process for the project had “three major shortcomings.” The first there was inadequate consultations with the SRST “on the impacts to their historic and cultural land;” second, the Corps utilized an inappropriate permitting process; and third, there was a failure to conduct environmental review. The letter also  notes that the concerns with the Nationwide Permit 12 process and argues that because of the pre-approval process in the NWP 12, that there was no public notice or comment period for the overall project or an EIS. The letter also states, in their opinion, that the environmental review was not thorough enough and that concerns from EPA, DOI, and ACHP were disregarded.  Finally, it notes the right of the protesters to “peacefully protest,” and does not include mention of the actions by the protesters but rather the “militarized police response.”

Today the word of the year was announced, false-truth.

We can think of nothing better to describe the gross inaccuracies described by this letter to the President. Once again we see a pattern of ignored realities.

Dakota Access, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted hundreds of outreach meetings and consultations with Native American tribes, many of which the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe simply refused to participate in. The State of North Dakota also held three separate public input hearings that were well publicized throughout the state that the tribe did not participate in.

Regardless of the Senators concerns with the Nationwide 12 permitting process, the entirely legal process was followed by the various federal agencies who have oversight of the permitting process. Following the issuance of an finding of no significant impact in an over 1,200 page environmental assessment studied over two years by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the project was permitted to move forward on federal lands. That decision was upheld by the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia as well as the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senators might have their own opinions, but these are not the basis of federal law. Political opinions, like those of the Senators of members of the Obama Administration, should remain just that, while federal laws should be followed according to the letter of the law; including the permits released under Nationwide 12.

Finally, once again we see Washington politicians rejecting the overwhelming evidence of violent acts towards members of the law enforcement community, who have pleaded for federal assistance. Instead, the Senators decided to side with protesters who have already committed the following illegal acts:  set firesslaughtered livestockfired at gun at law enforcement officersburned a bridge, terrorized journalists, and repeatedly trespassed on private property.


Statements from Members of Congress on Corps Indecision and Further Delay of DAPL

North Dakota Senator Hoeven issued a strong rebuke yesterday evening on the Corps decision to further delay the Dakota Access Pipeline and acknowledged the careful examination of the project by the agency and need to approve the project immediately. In addition, House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop indicated the facts surrounding the project have not changed and that it is time to approve the project.

Hoeven: Corps Should Issue The Dapl Easement And Resolve The Pipeline Situation In N.D.
U.S. John Hoeven, November 14, 2016

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement that it will further delay issuing a final easement that would allow construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to be completed:

“The Corps today announced it will further delay issuing an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. That will only prolong the disruption in the region caused by protests and make life difficult for everyone who lives and works in the area.

“U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled in September that the Corps has done its due diligence, and he allowed the project to proceed. Furthermore, the pipeline is sited in an existing right-of-way that already includes a natural gas pipeline and a high-voltage transmission line. The route has been altered 141 times to address sites of archaeological significance.

“The solution now is for the Corps to grant an easement for the project so that life can return to normal for our farmers, ranchers, tribal members and law enforcement officers, who have worked very hard to protect the lives and property of all. Further, I will continue to call on the Obama administration to provide federal resources and funding to help ensure public safety.”

The senator has been working to support state and local law enforcement efforts, which include bringing in additional law enforcement resources through EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, so that people living in the region feel safe and private property rights are protected. Hoeven and the congressional delegation have also been working to bring federal resources to assist local law enforcement in their efforts to keep the peace and deal with the protests.

Bishop: Dakota Access Delays Jeopardize Future Infrastructure Investment and Development
House Natural Resources Committee, November 15, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2016 – Yesterday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced they will begin another round of discussions and analysis on the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) project with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access, LLC. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:

“From the beginning of this controversy, the Obama administration exploited Native Americans to advance an obstructionist and radical environmental agenda.

“The facts haven’t changed. The route was approved the first time around after an exhaustive permitting process under the established regulatory framework, including the Mineral Leasing Act. The president’s increasingly autocratic interventions create massive uncertainty that jeopardizes future infrastructure investment and development. This is a mockery of our constitutional system and beyond the pale for any administration. Americans are counting down the days until we can return a semblance of certainty and professionalism to the federal government’s permitting process.”


Statements from Associations and Unions on Corps Further Delay of DAPL

A chorus of voices continue to decry and demand the approval the Dakota Access Pipeline following the Corps decision to further delay a project that has already been extensively reviewed and approved by four state agencies and the federal government. Statements from the NAM, API, IUOE, and AOPL are included below.

Americans Have Demanded Change: Manufacturers Respond to President’s Decision on DAPL
National Association of Manufacturers, November 14, 2016

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on President Obama’s decision to continue to delay approval of a key portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline project:

“Americans demanded change last week. Disregard for the rule of law and bad decisions from Washington, like the one today, are why so many have been frustrated and sought change.

“Manufacturers in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Arkansas and many other states who signed on to supply this project are now left hanging in continuing regulatory limbo and must come to grips with today’s wrongheaded decision.

“We look forward to working with the next administration on access to our energy to fix this mess, as the president-elect has indicated that he values the importance of energy infrastructure.”

Learn more about the importance of investing in our nation’s infrastructure, including ways to advance energy infrastructure, by reading the NAM’s Building to Win initiative.

API questions Obama administration action to delay the Dakota Access Pipeline
WASHINGTON, November 14, 2016 – API Midstream Group Director Robin Rorick questioned actions by the Obama administration to unilaterally delay construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“It defies logic that the Obama administration would ignore the rule of law by unilaterally delaying this critical infrastructure that would create American jobs and benefit American consumers,” said API Midstream Group Director Robin Rorick. “This project went through an established, open and transparent permitting process where comments from numerous stakeholders were considered. The administration’s actions to further delay this project with no legal justification contradict multiple court rulings; set a dangerous precedent for other infrastructure projects including roads, bridges and electricity transmission lines; and ignore calls to uphold the rule of law by the governors of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa.

“Modernizing our infrastructure helps move energy our nation demands more efficiently, helps save consumers money, and provides tens of thousands of well-paying jobs. It’s unfortunate that the Obama administration would turn its back on its own citizens and put politics over sound public policy. I hope the administration reconsiders today’s action for the good of our nation’s energy future.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.

IUOE Calls for Immediate Issuance of Easement for Dakota Access

WASHINGTON, DC – James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), issued the following statement regarding the Dakota Access pipeline:

“The Administration’s announcement today raises more questions than it answers. The United States cannot afford to further delay the Dakota Access pipeline and throw workers off a job at the tail end of the construction season in the High Plains. The project has jumped through every regulatory hoop and cleared every hurdle in a rigorous, years-long permitting process and is nearly built.

The Administration has failed to identify what could realistically be achieved by more review. Despite years of study and hundreds of meetings that the Army Corps has conducted with tribes, farmers and communities along the route, the Administration insists on more meetings. The uncertainty looming over this project for construction workers, law enforcement and other companies looking to invest in energy infrastructure has gone on long enough.

As we near the end of this construction season, employment in the oil and gas pipeline industry continues its downward spiral, down by over 20% in the last two years. It is high time to finish this vital domestic energy project.”

AOPL: Pipeline Operators Decry Continued Administration Interference in Pipeline Approval Process

WASHINGTON, DC – The Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL) decried the current administration’s continued refusal today to grant final approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline project even while admitting previous project decisions met legal requirements.

“This administration continues to astonish after admitting previous Dakota Access pipeline decisions were legal, which include the environmental and cultural finding of no significant impact, they are still refusing to provide final approval for the project,” said Andrew Black, AOPL President and CEO.

In July, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued a formal Finding of No Significant Impact after conducting an environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline project. Required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NEPA review represents the federal government’s official assessment of the environmental and cultural impacts of the project.

Dakota Access’s federal NEPA review found the proposed route for the pipeline is the preferred alternative and would have less of an impact on the environment than all other alternatives, including a different route of the pipeline or no pipeline at all.

A federal district court judge in September found the 250 interactions between the Corps, Dakota Access representatives and consulting tribal, cultural and historic representatives met or exceed the Corps’ legal obligations.

The administration after announcing in September an unprecedented halt to the approval process to conduct a review of previous agency actions has now “concluded that [the Corps’] previous decisions comported with legal requirements.” And yet, the administration in its November 14, 2016, letter to stakeholders still questions whether it will grant the final easement for the project.

The administration’s refusal to approve Dakota Access after finding the project meets its environmental and cultural obligations and admitting these findings were legal denies American workers the good-paying jobs this project will create. Refusing to approve Dakota Access denies American consumers the potential to benefit from lower prices additional supplies of energy transported by pipeline will bring.

AOPL urges the administration to respect the legal environmental and consultation approvals Dakota Access has already obtained and grant final approval to this project.


MAIN Coalition Members Speak Out on USACE Indecision

In light of yesterday’s announcement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, MAIN Coalition Members and Advisors spoke out on the decision to further delay the state-of-the-art Dakota Access Pipeline:

James “Spider” Marks, Major General (US Army retired), President of The Marks Collective
“The announcement today will lead to weeks of increasingly dangerous confrontations between police officers and professional agitators. The safety of local police and security forces, the citizens of North Dakota, workers on the ground, Tribal members, and the protestors themselves are now at further risk. Moreover, the continuing delay will push into the North Dakota winter, endangering the children and elderly who have chosen to camp out near Cannonball.”

“The “interests of individuals living in the general area of the right-of-way” that the U.S. Army Corps cites in their statement would best be served by rapid conclusion of this extended process and allowing the project to proceed. Since the Obama Administration intervened in September, more than 400 people have been arrested, hundreds of law enforcement pulled off other jobs to address the violent nature of some protests, and cattle and local livestock slaughtered. The 90-120 days of activity to finish this legally permitted project is critical to putting this community back together and restoring peace. This effort is motivated by a strategic imperative of enhancing and furthering national energy independence. This project has been as thoroughly vetted as any in history. Additional delays seem wasteful and solely politically motivated.”

Ron Ness, President, North Dakota Petroleum Council
“We are troubled by the decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which directly contradicts the will of four separate state governments, an original, thorough assessment of the project by the federal government, as well as two federal court rulings in favor of completing construction.

The risk of a potential spill has been thoroughly studied and extensive safety measures have been implemented to ensure the safe operation of the pipeline. By further delaying the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Corps of Engineers will only bring more instability to North Dakota, as protesters continue to threaten private property and workers along the pipeline route.”

Andy Peterson, President, North Dakota Chamber
“The Obama Administration’s decision to unnecessarily further halt the Dakota Access pipeline, in the name of additional consultation, runs counter to the thorough and careful process undertaken by the men and women of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota’s Public Service Commission. Two federal courts have upheld the process and agreed that the consultative process was thorough and complete. In addition, careful consideration was taken to the routing location of the pipeline and extensive safety mechanisms were included in its design to ensure the safe operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Our state deserves the opportunity to build and operate this project – to delay the project because of a 1,000 feet crossing – is unfair to North Dakotans who rely on our state’s energy resources to fuel and drive our economy. The Administration should strongly reconsider their decision.”

Mike Ralston, President, Iowa Association of Business and Industry
“I am disappointed by the decision to further delay this important national energy infrastructure project. Dakota Access has undergone extensive review and consultation at both the state and federal levels. The delay to a project that is already 84% complete is unfair to our state, the men and women building the project and all those involved from the top to the bottom of the supply chain. We have already seen the extent to which additional delay can have – violence, destruction of equipment, and threats against the individuals building or supporting the project. Enough is enough – the project should not be delayed any further.”

Bill Gerhard, President, Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council
“The Obama administration’s decision to continue delaying the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens the safety and jobs of thousands of Americans and jeopardizes billions of dollars in future development. Dakota Access has lawfully sought and received all of the necessary state and federal approvals, but now, after the project is over 84 percent complete, the White House wants to change the rules. This unprecedented action is harmful to American workers, businesses, and all those who depend on reliable infrastructure.”

Ed Wiederstein, Chairman, MAIN Coalition
“The decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to further delay the Dakota Access Pipeline and not grant the final easement today is extremely disheartening. This pipeline was thoroughly reviewed for nearly two years by the federal and four state governments, including by the Corps of Engineers.
This political decision to postpone construction jeopardizes the safety of all those who live and work near the project. The MAIN Coalition continues to stand for the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline in accordance with the will of the states, the original assessment by the Corps of Engineers, and the rulings of two United States Federal Courts.”

Chad Carter, IUOE Local 234
“The announcement today by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers only threatens further instability and continued protests on the Dakota Access Pipeline job sites, where hard working Americans are being threatened with violence just for showing up to work.”
“This decision will only further enflame protesters who have no regard for the rule of law, and will continue to intimidate workers, threaten acts of violence, and resist lawful removal by police. This decision undermining of the regulatory review process represents a threat to the future of infrastructure projects, and the future of American jobs for years to come.”

Dawna Leitzke, Executive Director, South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association
“Today’s decision to again delay the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline represents an unprecedented step in the wrong direction for the future of American energy independence. This fully approved and permitted project is over 80 percent built, yet Washington has now decided to upend existing law at the peril of American workers and businesses.”


DAPL Parent Company Denounces Obama Admin Easement Delay

The parent companies of the Dakota Access Pipeline—Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners—sharply denounced yesterday’s announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to delay issuing the final easement needed to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. In a joint statement, the project’s backers called the move “unjust and a reinforcement of the Administration’s lack of interest in enforcing and abiding by the law.”

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) and Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P. (NYSE: SXL) denounced today’s announcement by the Army Corps of Engineers regarding Dakota Access Pipeline’s authority to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota as unjust and a reinforcement of the Administration’s lack of interest in enforcing and abiding by the law. Furthermore, there was no legal or factual justification stated by the Corps for the delay. In fact, the Corps admitted again today that its review had concluded that all previous decisions complied with all applicable legal requirements.

The Corps knows full well that it is seeking additional consultation with a party that has steadfastly refused to consult. Rather than holding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe accountable for its decisions over the past three years, it seeks to reward them at this late date.

“This action is motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules it was given,” said Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners. “To propose, as the Corps now does, to further delay this pipeline and to engage in what can only be described as a sham process sends a frightening message about the rule of law.”

Dakota Access is fully confident that the previous review process conducted by the Corps was extremely thorough and comprehensive. The Corps has supported and defended this process in two federal courts and has been upheld both times.

Dakota Access will vigorously pursue its legal rights in this matter.

The joint statement echoes the MAIN Coalition’s immediate response to this unprecedented, extrajudicial action.