Hundreds of union members gathered outside the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) in Des Moines this morning to show support for the Dakota Access Pipeline. At issue, a handful of opponents threatening a vital infrastructure project already well on its way to completion.
Earlier in the day, Ed Wiederstein, chairman of the MAIN Coalition, said in a statement that he was “dismayed” by continued efforts to derail a project that is already employing thousands of Iowans. “It is completely ludicrous the Dakota Access Pipeline will once again be brought to the Iowa Utilities Board for review,” he said. “Opponents of Dakota Access want to keep changing the rules after a decision has been made.”
“It is completely selfish of these individuals to threaten an entire workforce with termination solely because they want to throw a wrench in the regulatory system,” said Bill Gerhard, president of the Iowa State Building and Constructions Trade Council. “Construction should be allowed to take place, as it was before, because the letter of the law was followed and this project was approved by the State of Iowa.”
Inside, the lawyers for Dakota Access asked the commissioners to reject a motion that would halt construction on 17 tracts of land, saying that landowners have already had numerous opportunities to voice concerns and that the IUB already made their decision in March. Attorneys also added that nearly 22 percent of the pipeline in Iowa was already built. The board adjourned at 1 p.m. following several hours of debate and gave no indication when it would vote other than it meet again Friday afternoon.
Desperate attempts like this to undermine the regulatory process and hinder the construction of valuable infrastructure are in nobody’s best interest. The Dakota Access Pipeline has sought and received all of the required state and federal regulatory approvals and is now well on its way to being operational.