Labor Groups Pressure Obama on Dakota Access

A coalition of labor groups is again asking President Obama to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to proceed without further delay.

In an Oct. 18 letter, the National Infrastructure Alliance urged the White House, along with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Army Secretary Eric Fanning, and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to grant an easement for the project to cross beneath Lake Oahe.

“We strongly encourage you to stand up for American workers and American infrastructure by reversing course on your Administration’s extralegal action regarding the Dakota Access Pipe Line, which is sending shock waves through the development community and the membership of our unions,” the letter said.

Furthermore, the alliance characterized the Obama administration’s last-minute intervention in the project as “deeply unsettling” and warned that it sets a dangerous precedent for future proposals.

“The intervention by the Departments of Justice, Interior, and the U.S. Army to halt a project for an indefinite period of time, using the leverage that the federal government possesses with regard to its easement on Corps property, is unprecedented and without comparison,” wrote Executive Director Raymond Poupore.

The alliance represents four of the nation’s top construction: the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America; International Union of Operating Engineers; Laborers’ International Union of North America; and International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.

Earlier this month, two separate coalitions of labor groups and energy supply chain organizations also wrote to Obama in support of Dakota Access and the thousands of men and women currently employed by the project.