Fourteen state attorneys general filed a brief last week urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to keep the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline operational while it undergoes additional environmental review. The AGs argue closing the pipeline, which has safely transported more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to southern Illinois for nearly three years, would have significant environmental, economic, food supply, and safety ramifications. The coalition, led by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, included AGs from Montana, Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
The brief comes as activists have called for the pipeline to be shuttered after a federal judge in March ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform further environmental review on the project, despite having already completed a rigorous, multi-year permitting process, with the environmental assessment (EA) resulting in a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI).
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“The GAIN Coalition applauds the fourteen state attorneys general for expressing their support for the continued operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline. DAPL is a critical component of our nation’s energy infrastructure network, providing safe and efficient transport for more than half a million barrels of American oil per day. In addition to the economic, safety, and environmental benefits, the continued safe operation of DAPL bolsters both our national and energy security at a time when we need it most. The recent oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, in addition to the ongoing global pandemic, have served as timely reminders as to the importance of a strong American energy industry and reducing reliance on foreign energy sources.
“Further, the American energy industry has played an essential role in powering the economy through the COVID-19 crisis – fueling supply chain networks, keeping the lights on at hospitals across the nation, and continuing to produce the components required to manufacture personal protective equipment like masks, face shields, and other medical supplies.”