U. of Utah Professor: DAPL Protesters Ignore Benefits of Pipeline Infrastructure

Noel de Nevers, a professor emeritus of chemical engineering at the University of Utah, added his voice to the debate over the Dakota Access Pipeline over the weekend, emphasizing the lack of fact-based discussion in an increasingly nationwide dialogue.

Writing in the Salt Lake Tribune, de Nevers pointed to U.S. District Judge James Boasberg’s 58-page ruling as clear evidence that the multibillion dollar project should be completed.

“At least in the view of that court, the facts and the law are overwhelmingly contrary to the position advanced by the tribe. In summary, it shows that the pipeline company and the Corps of Engineers bent over backwards to address all the issues raised by the tribe, and that the tribe presents no evidence to support its complaint. The pipeline company followed all its legal requirements to obtain all the necessary permits to construct. The conflict between the tribe and the local law enforcement is taking place on land that is owned by the pipeline, where the pipeline has asked the government to remove trespassers. Anyone who wishes to have an informed opinion on the conflict should read the document.”

Furthermore, de Nevers noted that the benefits of pipeline infrastructure has been largely ignored by protesters and the media.

“None of the parties involved, nor the press, explain the public benefit of the pipeline, which the tribe seeks to prevent from occurring. New oil drilling technology made it possible to produce large amounts of oil from the previously unproductive Bakken Formation, mostly in North Dakota. This new field was not in an area served by oil pipelines (as it would have been if it were in Texas or California). So the new oil was and is transported to the oil refineries by long trains, made only of tank cars. The Dakota Access Pipeline, if completed, will remove about half of the total production from the Bakken Formation from the railroads, placing it in an underground pipeline.”

Click here to read Professor de Nevers full opinion piece in the Salt Lake Tribune.