Dakota Access Pipeline is in our best interests

Iowa farmers and our nation’s economic productivity rely on access to essential natural resources like crude oil. For everything from filling the tank of a tractor to America’ strategic interests abroad, safe access to oil is essential to our state’s and country’s continued economic growth and competitiveness.

The Dakota Access Pipeline would help transport crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota through Iowa as well as other upper Midwest states. It would be safer and more efficient than using rail cars, which are being used today to carry the load.

Opponents to the project forget Iowa is still an agricultural state, and we rely on petroleum and diesel to run our businesses.

But the recent oil boom in North Dakota also has placed our farmers at a disadvantage. Too many rail cars are allocated for oil transport, leaving farmers high and dry with shipments sitting in elevators and rail yards. The cars we rely on to transport grain are being taken up by Bakken oil.

The Dakota Access Pipeline would allow for farmers to transport commodities with less expense by opening up more rail cars. The pipeline, as proposed, will alleviate four to seven unit trains per day, helping ease railcar transportation shortages for agriculture and other products, especially in the upper Midwest. And this is no small challenge to address; in 2014 alone, Midwest farmers lost $570 million in shipments, according to a American Farm Bureau Federation study.

I strongly believe this pipeline is in the country’s best interest as a whole.