Poll Finds Broad Support for Pipelines and DAPL Optimization

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A poll found that nearly 70 percent of North Dakotans support optimization of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – which would nearly double the capacity of the pipeline to about 1.1 million barrels per day. The poll, conducted by nationally-recognized polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, comes a week before a scheduled hearing where the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) will consider a request to increase the flow of the pipeline.

“Our nation’s robust pipeline network is key to safely delivering the energy Americans rely on each day,” said GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens. “The proposed optimization of the Dakota Access Pipeline will allow for North Dakota’s crude oil to continue to meet our country’s growing energy needs. In addition to supporting high-skilled jobs and reliable, affordable energy, pipelines take the risk off the road – they are the safest, most efficient method of transporting oil and gas products. It is reassuring to see the overwhelming support North Dakotans have for their state’s energy industry, and the GAIN Coalition urges the North Dakota PSC to approve the optimization of Dakota Access.”

The survey found that 95 percent of North Dakotans believe the oil industry is important to the state’s economy and 93 percent believe it is important that the United States produce its own energy and become energy independent. Furthermore, two-thirds of North Dakotans recognize the critical role of DAPL in providing millions of tax dollars that benefit local communities’ schools, first responders, and social services.

“The findings from this poll are clear and positive. Not only do 95% of residents find the industry important to the state economy but, on a bipartisan basis residents feel pipelines in general, and the Dakota Access Pipeline in particular, is the safest way to transport oil across their state,” said pollster Micah Roberts, Partner at Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted the poll on behalf of the GAIN Coalition. “Fully 77% of residents say it is important to them that oil is transported by pipeline and 79% agree that the Dakota Access Pipeline is providing a safer means of transportation than truck or rail.  From safety to economic benefits, the polling shows the vast majority of North Dakotans support the industry and are in favor of increasing DAPL’s capacity.”  

The request before the Commission comes as North Dakota experiences record-high energy output, producing nearly 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. To accommodate this growth in the Bakken, Energy Transfer – the pipeline’s developer – has proposed optimizing the existing Dakota Access Pipeline to transport the increased volume of crude oil available. The proposal includes the construction of three new pump stations – one each in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Illinois. The maximum operating pressure will not change, and no new pipe will be required. Commissioners in Lincoln County, South Dakota, last month approved construction of the proposed pump station in the state. The Illinois Industrial Commission (ICC) is expected to hold a hearing in December to consider the proposal.

The telephone survey was conducted of 600 adults in North Dakota from November 1-4 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent and was sponsored by the GAIN Coalition.  For more information about the GAIN Coalition, follow the Coalition on Twitter (@GainNowAmerica) and Facebook or visit www.gainnow.org.

CONTACT: Connor Greenwood [email protected]

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