Experts, Elected Representatives, Union Members Warn of the Dangers of Halting the Dakota Access Pipeline

The Obama administration’s decision to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite a go-ahead from a federal judge, was met with across-the-board criticism from energy experts, politicians, and representatives of unionized labor. Their concerns were expressed in an article posted by Fox News yesterday.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, North Dakota’s at-large Representative, called the decision “fundamentally unfair” in a written statement:

“It seems more than a little confusing that moments after a federal judge issued an order stating, among other things, that the Corps of Engineers and the pipeline company did everything the law requires of them and more, the Obama Administration decides to change the rules..”

Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute called for the pipeline’s construction to move forward:

“The administration’s recent attempts to change the rules, in the middle of the game, set a dangerous precedent for our country that could threaten other infrastructure projects like bridges, roads and electricity transmission…”

Sean McGarvey of North America’s Building Trades Unions contended that the President’s decision was a clear example of putting politics above the rule of law:

“We fear that President Obama has now set a dangerous precedent where political considerations can now thwart or delay every single infrastructure project moving forward…”

Brigham McCown, the former acting administrator of the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) raised concern about the impact that the decision could have on other infrastructure projects underway around the country:

“This could bog down or delay every single infrastructure project moving forward (…) I don’t think they even realize the can of worms they’ve opened…”

The Dakota Access Pipeline, once completed, will serve as a vital link to North Dakota’s Bakken shale play, which, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, contains an estimated 7.4 billion barrels of oil.

Read the full article here.