On Monday, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) cleared the way for construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline to begin in Iowa. “The Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now fervently believes that it is in the best interest of the people of Iowa that this pipeline begin construction as soon as possible on all lands under jurisdiction of the Iowa Utilities Board,” said MAIN Coalition Chairman Ed Wiederstein following the decision. “We hope that a favorable decision by the Corps of Engineers will follow and that construction can soon take place on the entirety of the route.”
Speaking with local ABC affiliate WOI, Chad Carter, vice president of Operating Engineers Local 234 praised the decision by regulators to allow the project to move forward. “This has been a long time coming and we are very pleased,” he said, noting that the project will put over 900 people to work in Iowa, including upwards of 450 from Local 234.
Iowa Utilities Board approves order clearing the way for construction to begin on the #DakotaAccess Pipeline #DAPLmatters
— Midwest Alliance (@MWAllianceNow) June 6, 2016
To date, construction on the project has already begun in Illinois, North Dakota, and South Dakota where local communities and economies are already feeling the positive impact of critical investment. In fact, Jacksonville, IL-based 1180 WLDS-AM reported over the weekend that business was booming in the western part of the state as local hotel and lodging establishments work to accommodate the infulx of construction workers. “It [Dakota Access] offers employment, with our lodging facilities being more full, that offers more employment opportunities in the area. Whether that’s indirect or direct, that’s more business coming into the Jacksonville area,” said Brittany Henry, executive director of the Jacksonville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In granting permission to begin construction, the IUB has unlocked thousands of new jobs for hardworking Iowans and provided the agricultural community a timeline limited to one growing season. Soon, stories of thriving local economies will not just be a distant news article, but a reality for communities across Iowa. As a coalition, we applaud the IUB for making the right decision and look forward to seeing the many benefits of this project come to fruition in the Hawkeye State.