Dakota Access makes official case to permit pipeline

Oil transport officials and their energy experts laid the groundwork for their belief of the broader public benefit of an oil pipeline that would cross the state in documents filed last week with the Iowa Utilities Board.

“Iowa has a high level of per capita energy consumption in general, ranking 5th highest in the United States on a total consumption basis and 7th highest in energy expenditures per capita. Iowa’s economy depends on several energy-intensive sectors,” Damon Rahbar-Daniel, vice president of commercial operations for Energy Transfer Partners, said in his direct testimony, filed online Sept. 8. “Agriculture, certainly, but Iowa also ranks among the top 10 states in terms of percent of state GDP from manufacturing, and Iowa ranks 6th highest nationally in total energy consumption per capita in its industrial sector.”

Energy Transfer Partners is an equity owner of Dakota Access, which has filed to build the oil transport pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken oil field to Illinois. About 350 miles of pipeline would be in Iowa, including about 30 through Calhoun County.

Rahbar-Daniel’s testimony was just one item of several items Dakota Access filed with the utilities board, setting the stage for a hearing later this year. The board has said it does not intend to hear live direct testimony; rather, board members want to read the direct testimony, then allow intervening organizations to cross examine witnesses on that written testimony. Iowa, Rahbar-Daniel said, despite being a top consumer of oil, has no refineries or drilling operations.