Members Voice Concern Regarding Activist Obstruction of Review Process
DES MOINES – Members of the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN) gathered Thursday to stress the importance of not politicizing the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) review of the Dakota Access Pipeline in light of ongoing obstructionism and delay tactics deployed by activists. A diverse group of labor, business, and agricultural supporters offered the following statements in response to the latest effort to upend the IUB process and stand in the way of economic development, job creation, and energy security.
“For months, opponents of this project have attempted to derail progress – and cost our members the jobs they need to support families – by spouting inaccuracies, downplaying economic benefit, and otherwise attempting to distract from the vital importance of this project,” said Bill Gerhard, President of the Iowa State Building & Construction Trades Council. “Members of the labor community, as well as the state at large, simply have too much at stake to allow this type of activism to stand in the way of a good thing. We urge the IUB to approve this project in a timely manner and let our people get to work.”
“Infrastructure projects on this scale create tens of thousands of jobs and inject billions into our economy,” added Mike Ralston, President of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI). “In order for our state to continue to attract investment on this scale, we need a stable and predictable business landscape that’s not held hostage by opposition activists. Our state needs Dakota Access, and we need to continue to encourage projects like it to look our way in years to come.”
“There’s no question that a project of this size and scope requires thorough debate and a clear hearing of the facts on both sides of the argument. That should be the core of the IUB’s review process,” said Ed Wiederstein, chairman of the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now and former President of the Iowa Farm Bureau. “Obstructionism, inflammatory rhetoric, and delay tactics are just attempts to distract from a true debate. This project deserves our support the name of greater energy security, more affordable crude oil and petroleum products, and safe transport of a domestic resource that we all use every day.”
The Iowa Utilities Board will hold a hearing to further examine the Dakota Access Pipeline later this year.
About MAIN: The Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN) is a partnership of entities from agriculture, business, and labor sectors aimed at supporting the economic development and energy security benefits associated with infrastructure projects in the Midwest. MAIN is a project of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council and boasts nearly 50 members across four states. Visit us online at www.MWAllianceNow.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.