Earlier today U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and four other Democratic senators asked President Obama to halt construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline and order that a full environmental review be completed. In a statement, MAIN Coalition spokesperson Craig Stevens challenged the request, noting that the project has already been fully vetted and approved by both the federal government and four state regulatory agencies.
There is no legitimate reason, whatsoever, for the federal government to request another environmental study for the Dakota Access Pipeline – to do so is nothing more than a ploy to kill the project by unnecessary and undetermined delay.
The Dakota Access Pipeline has been fully vetted and approved by four states and the federal government pursuant to dozens of state and federal regulations including environmental regulations. Two federal courts have ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers met its obligations under the law – and in many cases went beyond the letter of the law to meet the spirit and intent of the legislation. Additionally, the Corps and Dakota Access, LLC, met with thousands of concerned citizens and groups over the past two years to ensure the pipeline traversed the safest, most sensible route.
The nation is watching this administrative decision: Will the administration respect the rule of law, the regulatory process, and the engineers who did their jobs or will the administration make a decision based on a political preference? If the decision ignores the regulatory process it will have a chilling effect on future private infrastructure development and threaten American jobs.
The MAIN Coalition remains hopeful that administrative actions and judicial decisions will be based on the facts, science, engineering, and the rule of law that leads to the completion and operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline without further delay.