Build North Dakota Campaign Brings Key Voice to Dakota Access Debate

Member of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) are weighing into the Dakota Access Pipeline debate with a new radio campaign featuring the men and women building it. The Build North Dakota initiative aims to highlight the countless opportunities this project is providing to thousands of skilled Laborers and the quality of work they’re delivering.

“We’ve heard a lot of people offer their opinion on the Dakota Access Pipeline, but what’s missing from the conversation are the perspectives of the people who are living it every day: the landowners whose land the pipeline crosses, and the workers who are building it,” according to LIUNA Local 563 Business Agent and career pipeliner Cory Bryson.

Dakota Access has long committed to utilizing union labor and currently employs more than 8,000 skilled members from LiUNA and an array of different trades, including the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and United Association.

“Hundreds of our members are giving it their all to make sure this pipeline is built safe, and built the right way,” said Bryson. “We want people in North Dakota and beyond to understand what we do, and how seriously we take our work.”

Listen to what some of LiUNA’s members have to say by visiting

State Archaeologist Finds No Evidence of Cultural Resources at DAPL Worksite

A team of archaeologists from the State Historical Society of North Dakota has found no evidence to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s claim that sites of cultural significance were destroyed by Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction activities. A new survey at a work area west of Highway 1806 revealed no human burials or cultural materials, wrote chief archeologist Paul Picha in a September 22 memo obtained by the Say Anything Blog.

State Archaeologist by Rob Port on Scribd

These findings further validate the Historical Society’s original conclusion that no sites of historical or cultural significance will be adversely affected by the pipeline’s carefully determined route. “The State Historic Preservation Office had previously concurred with a cultural resource survey of the pipeline route that found that no significant sites would be affected. As noted by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in a recent ruling, DAPL undertook extensive efforts to avoid sensitive areas, including rerouting the pipeline 140 times in North Dakota alone.

Prior to the survey, skeptics had noted that this particular area along the route had previously been dug up for an existing natural gas line, making the discovery of anything significant highly remote.

Pre-Debate Statement from the MAIN Coalition

In just a few hours Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump will engage in their first presidential debate.  Among the topics they are expected to discuss are their plans to strengthen our nation’s economy. In advance of their debate, MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement:

As Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump discuss their visions to support our nation’s economic prosperity, there will be one area that they both can agree: encouraging private infrastructure development.  There is no debate that our nation’s infrastructure needs updating; and there are American companies ready to employ American skilled labor to get the job done right.  But companies need regulatory certainty in order to dedicate the financial resources necessary to complete these needed massive projects.

Right now, a stretch of the Dakota Access Pipeline is in limbo because – despite being fully approved by the relevant four states and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and being more than 60 percent complete – the Administration has decided to reevaluate the regulatory process.  This is indeed troubling and could have a chilling effect on private infrastructure development as companies, who have followed the process correctly and done everything right, risk having their projects stopped right in the middle construction.

This is no way to run an economy.

The members of the MAIN Coalition and all Americans will be listening to both candidates tonight to see who articulates the best vision for our nation’s economy, including the best way to support necessary U.S. infrastructure development.

MAIN Coalition Statement: Obama Administration Schedules Consultations

On Friday, September 23, the Department of the Interior, Justice Department, and Army Corps of Engineers released a schedule for upcoming consultations with Native American tribes. Following the announcement MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement:

The MAIN Coalition agrees that tribal consultations should continue to play an important role in prospective infrastructure development. With regards to the Dakota Access Pipeline, the official and judicial records show the Army Corps of Engineers and the company held at least 389 consultations with 55 Native American tribes as well as several hundred other consultations with interested individuals, groups, and elected officials throughout the course of the permitting process. In part as a result of those consultations, the final path avoids culturally and environmentally sensitive areas.

The process to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline was done correctly; and these new discussions should not impact, retroactively, any ongoing infrastructure project or any infrastructure project that is currently under review for permitting. To do so would have a chilling effect on private infrastructure development, negatively impact our economy, and cost Americans their jobs.

Should the federal or state governments update their regulations moving forward, they should be transparent, consistent, and reasonable so the regulatory process can ameliorate the concerns of our nation’s various constituencies while not stifling America’s economy.

MAIN Coalition Statement Regarding Recent D.C. Circuit Court Announcement

In response to the recent announcement from the D.C. Circuit Court on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an emergency injunction, MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement:

We respect the process and appreciate the Court moving as quickly as possible to hear the facts. Judge Boasberg was very clear in his thoughtful and thorough opinion that the Army Corps of Engineers followed the letter of the law by consulting with 55 tribes at least 389 times, as well as hosting hundreds of other consultations with members of local communities across the pipeline’s route. We continue to believe that if the ultimate decision is based on the facts, science, engineering and the rule of law the Dakota Access Pipeline will be completed and become operational.

When It Comes to DAPL, Stick to the Facts

Today, The Hill, published a piece by MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens where articulated the facts behind the Dakota Access Pipeline project.

Stevens wrote, “During the ongoing protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the public has had a harder time getting to the facts about this important project. Untrue claims are circulating again, and the record needs to be set straight.”

Some of the important facts raised include:

  • The pipeline does not cross reservation land, and runs almost entirely on private property. In fact the pipeline parallels an energy corridor of electrical transmission lines and the Northern Border Pipeline across Lake Oahe.
  • The entire route through North Dakota was approved by the North Dakota Historic Preservation Office.
  • Native American tribes had multiple opportunities for input with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers throughout the permitting process.
  • Multiple meetings were held with community leaders and the public throughout the review phase of the project.
  • The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request to halt construction of the pipeline near its reservation. Judge Boasberg concluded after an extensive review that “the Tribe has not shown it will suffer injury” if construction proceeds as planned.

Through all of the noise of this very public protests, these facts remain the same and should guide any future intellectual discussion on the pipeline. Inciting violence, trespassing, or damaging property is

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.

President Obama Weighs In on DAPL, Emphasizes Importance of Moving Our Energy Resources Safely

President Obama recently weighed into the conversation surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline. In an August 31st letter addressed to critics of the project, Mr. Obama outlined the need for the continued investment in alternative energy technologies, but rebuked the unrealistic notion that all fossil fuel production must cease immediately. To the contrary, he instead stressed his belief that safety must be at the forefront of American energy policy.

“Of course, we cannot complete the transition to a clean-energy economy overnight. We will continue to rely partly on fossil fuels—and while we do so, safety must be our first priority.”

Mr. Obama is right to emphasize the need for a safety-oriented approach when it comes to harnessing the power of our domestic energy resources. The Dakota Access Pipeline could not align better with this vision as it will serve as essential step to modernizing our nation’s energy infrastructure. By offering a safe, efficient means for transporting our energy resources, the pipeline will drastically reduce the volume of crude oil traveling through our communities in accident-prone railcars and trucks.

Furthermore, the Dakota Access Pipeline is being built by the most qualified workforce available – men and women who have dedicated their lives to advancing America’s infrastructure in a manner that ensures safe operation and long-term integrity. The pipeline will employ the latest in safety monitoring technology and in many cases, by built in a manner that exceeds federal guidelines and standards.

The MAIN Coalition applauds Mr. Obama for his thoughtful, realistic response to a set of impracticable demands that had been imposed upon him.

Click here to read Mr. Obama’s full letter.

Judge to Hear Request on Tribe Restraining Order – Doesn’t Add Up

Tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., a judge will hear a plea from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for a restraining order against the Dakota Access project.

Yet video from violent protests this past weekend shows the tribal protesters aggressively pursuing and assaulting the company who were doing work on private land where they have easements. Shouldn’t the restraining order instead be issued to Dakota Access?

The project – announced more than 800 days ago – was approved by four state bodies and the federal Government and is more than 22 percent constructed. The government consulted with the tribe and conducted numerous cultural surveys to design a route that did not disturb cultural remains.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has had countless opportunities to take part in the process and instead chose not to answer the company’s many attempts to work together. Even now the tribe is failing to articulate any alternatives. Some within the tribe believe the tribal leaders are acting out for publicity and should use their platform to do good for the tribal members and local community. Most agree that the pipeline would deliver tremendous benefits including increasing safety by taking trains and trucks carrying crude oil off the rails and roads.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault should restrain his own members and not waste time in court on a needless restraining order against the company. The lawless acts of the tribe against the company are despicable and must end. We ask Chairman Archambault to take a stand, show leadership, and hold the ranks of his members accountable for the violence.

There is always a better way.


Hypocrisy at Standing Rock

It seems that hypocrisy and untruths know no bounds these days.

Peaceful protests? Hardly. What happened over the weekend shows the brutal actions by the opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline are becoming more commonplace. More than 250 protesters charged 14 Dakota Access security personnel Saturday with rocks, pipe, and other weapons, sending workers to the hospital. Is this the “peaceful protest” that Chairman Archambault is condoning?  We want to know.

But what about the resources needed to protest the pipeline? As we’ve seen, you need a lot of oil to protest oil pipelines.

In fact, we learned today that many of the protesters may have been purchasing gasoline and diesel fuel from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s very own chairman, David Archambault II.

That’s right— Chairman Archambault is a proud owner of his very own gas station —the Cannon Ball Pit Stop. He’s managed to assemble thousands of protesters at a “spirit camp” conveniently located just a few miles away from his small business, which is likely turning a nice profit these days.



Chairman Archambault’s personal website and resume prominently note that he’s been the “Owner/Manager” of the gas station from 2011 to present.  He touted this fact when he ran for Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

David Archambault


Is it not rather ironic that a man opposed to a crude oil pipeline due to its potential impact on the environment has no issue profiting from one of the most important by-products of American-produced crude oil?  We think so.  “Do as I say not as I do” would be a good new mantra for the small but vocal group at Standing Rock opposed to Dakota Access.