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Your Views: Reader says Dakota Access pipeline must move forward

Your Views: Reader says Dakota Access pipeline must move forward

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In favor of Dakota Access pipeline

It is time to move forward on the Dakota Access pipeline. For more than two years, supporters and opponents have had the opportunity to voice opinions, attend public hearings, submit comments, testify, read company submissions and legally intervene.

However, opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline still say more review is necessary, that all voices haven’t been heard or that there should be additional organizations consulted.

But one thing is certain: The Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN) a coalition of landowners and businesses along the route are ready to move forward. The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) recently made their decision to approve construction on this important infrastructure project, so that Iowa can receive the economic benefits that our neighbors have experienced for the past two months.

The time for review has passed, and now our state will move forward with construction thanks to the foresight of board members who voted in favor of allowing construction on lands not under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Those permits remain outstanding.

The Corps of Engineers controls crossings of waterways of the United States, which account for just over 3 percent of the entire length of this project, but these outstanding permits delay the operation of the pipeline – and thus delay the benefit of affordable, reliable, American-produced petroleum to Midwestern markets.

I had a chance to talk to the company that is in charge of drilling under these areas. They are experts at what they do and they have amazing technology that they use to do this work. These are not amateurs.

It is critical that the Corps of Engineers approves these permits as soon as possible. Right now, we are all witness to the grinding gears bureaucracy.

This pipeline has already been reviewed for nearly two years by each state government, examined by environmental and cultural experts, and given the opportunity for public input in nearly every community the route crosses. But once the feds got involved, progress has ground to a halt on the final 3 percent.

But we can do something about it, and we are doing something about it. The MAIN Coalition supports this project and, though we differ in many ways, we stand united behind the goal of seeing this project completed.

We urge the Corps of Engineers to approve these permits.

Ed Wiederstein, Audubon

Chair, Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now

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