Following the Obama Administration’s decision to not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline at Lake Oahe, MAIN Coalition members and advisors issued the following statements:
Ret. Major General James “Spider” Marks
“Today’s decision by the Obama Administration to deny the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline is a politically motivated action with a complete disregard for the rule of law and the regulatory process that was so carefully followed over two years.
To deny the easement, based on the influence and unlawful actions of the unpeaceful protesters I saw firsthand is baffling and unlike anything I have ever seen.
Today’s decision will only embolden, empower, and engage future activity on other major infrastructure projects and create detrimental consequences for our nation’s energy security, economy, and infrastructure development for years to come.”
Brigham McCown, Former PHMSA Administrator
“As a supporter of the institutional process, I am disheartened to see the length to which this current administration has chosen to politically manipulate and undermine mature programs administered by the career civil service.
There is simply no justification for today’s decision which undermines every single proposed infrastructure project across America. The signal it sends is tragic, that the government can change its mind after a project has been approved and construction has started. This ill-conceived notion says that the rules of the game are subject to manipulation without recourse, at least until a new administration takes office.
The decision to review alternate routes was already rejected, and the government offers no justification for rescinding its previous findings of no adverse impacts and it yet another example of government obstruction of key infrastructure projects which would have increased energy safety and environmental stewardship.”
Ed Wiederstein, Chairman of the MAIN Coalition
“It is extremely disappointing that the administration has decided to take this course of action on what should be a mere formality for a project that is more than 90 percent complete.
Dakota Access has worked for more than two years to identify the safest, most sensible route for the pipeline and once operational, this project will be among the most technologically advanced pipelines in the world.
Instead this purely political decision has undermined our nation’s regulatory structure and sent a chilling message to those looking to invest in our nation’s infrastructure network.”
Bill Gerhard, President of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council
“It is completely unacceptable that the administration has denied the easement on the final, 1,000 foot section of an 1,200 mile project. This project was denied because of special interest opponents who have already stated their mission is far greater than this particular project. And the reality is this decision will have implications far beyond than those who are protesting it’s development.
The over $1 billion private investment in Iowa alone is critical to modernizing our nation’s energy transportation network and Iowa stands to benefit greatly in the years to come from the millions in added tax revenues during construction that is already being generated. The skilled tradesmen from many communities along the pipeline’s route already preparing for the coming economic boon that will accompany the construction phase of the project were dealt a serious blow by this decision.”
Andy Peterson, President of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce
“The refusal to grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota by the federal government is deeply concerning for future business and infrastructure investments in our state.
Despite receiving approvals from each state along the route, a finding of No Significant Impact by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, court rulings from the District and Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the support of thousands of individuals in the business, agriculture, and labor communities, political decisions ultimately overrode informed judgement.
If private companies cannot rely on the government to enforce the rule of law, and ensure that lawful investments can be carried through despite two full years of governmental review and approvals, then there is very dangerous precedent being set by the Obama Administration.”
Ron Ness, President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council
“The Army Corps of Engineers’ refusal to grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross Lake Oahe is extremely disheartening.
Despite a thorough review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and an approval by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, political decisions made by the Obama Administration ultimately overruled sound engineering judgment, and will only serve to enflame ongoing tensions in Morton County.
The North Dakota Petroleum Council looks forward to the enforcement of the rule of law and the approval of an easement by the incoming Trump Administration.”
Dawna Leitzke, Executive Director, South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association
“The South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association is deeply troubled by the refusal to grant the last easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Obama Administration.
This refusal threatens the future of both energy independence and ensuring a low cost of supplying a vital resource that drives our economy from agriculture, to manufacturing, to consumer products and services.
The Dakota Access Pipeline remains a critical investment and we look forward to its approval and completion after the Obama Administration leaves office in a few short weeks.”