Labor Shows Support for DAPL Optimization

The Chicago Sun-Times recently published a letter to the editor by Paul Flynn, business manager of IBEW Local 34, expressing support for a proposal to increase the crude oil capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) – which has been safely operating for nearly three years. The project, known as DAPL Optimization, has been approved by the necessary regulators in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa and is currently awaiting a decision from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Read the full letter here:

In the first week of March, the Illinois Commerce Commission held a hearing to consider a proposal to increase the capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline, known as DAPL. I attended the hearing as a representative of thousands of Illinois union members who rely on projects like DAPL Optimization to build long-term construction careers.

I urge the ICC to approve the project sooner rather than later, as projects like this help boost local economies. In the uncertain times we are facing, privately funded, shovel-ready jobs like those created by DAPL Optimization will be instrumental in moving Illinois and the Midwest forward.

The DAPL Optimization project would increase the capacity of the crude oil pipeline without new pipeline construction by adding a new pump station in Patoka, Illinois — a Midwest energy hub.

Given the uncertainty of employment opportunities, DAPL Optimization is all the more important for Illinois and us. This project would create shovel-ready jobs for Illinois’ skilled unions and help generate tax revenues for our local communities. The ICC’s approval will give us all confidence in the future.

The ICC hasn’t yet made a decision on the project, but my union brothers and sisters would agree that DAPL Optimization offers a ton of simple solutions, including:

  • Meeting Midwest energy demands by increasing crude oil delivery
  • Creating jobs for Illinois’ hardworking unions members
  • Generating new tax revenues for communities

DAPL Optimization could boost Illinois’ economy at a time when that is most needed. North Dakota and South Dakota already have done their part by approving the project. Unions statewide are counting on DAPL Optimization.

Paul Flynn
Business Manager
IBEW Local 34

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