As a state representative, I have reviewed the Dakota Access Pipeline project on the strength of its overall benefits to South Dakota and the nation. The pipeline is an efficient and environmentally sound resource for transporting light sweet crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks fields in North Dakota to major U.S. refining areas.
Completion of the pipeline will help relieve the shortage of railway transport capacity facing South Dakota grain growers. It will also provide a welcome and permanent new source of property tax revenue, as well as good-paying, construction jobs.
I have worked with representatives of Dakota Access and can speak in personal terms, rather than as an elected official. I am one of the agricultural property owners whose land the pipeline will cross under on its 1,100 mile journey to Illinois.
In my firsthand dealing with Dakota Access, I have seen them deliver on their stated policy of maximum protection for agricultural land and maximum accommodation of land owners. Specifically, Dakota Access professionals worked with me to create an individualized plan for my property. They amiably altered their original proposed path for the pipeline through my property to accommodate my plans for future development. Dakota Access paid attention to the agricultural needs with a mitigation plan to guarantee that future crop production would not be hindered.
This total experience left me confident that Dakota Access Pipeline management is committed to a long-term productive and cooperative partnership with South Dakota’s ranchers and farmers, as well as with state government.