Bloomberg Law reported North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is seeking a consultation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the continued operations of the Dakota Access Pipeline. On April 9th, the Biden administration is expected to make a decision on whether or not the pipeline can continue transporting crude oil while the Corps conducts additional review on the project. Stenehjem penned a letter directly to Lt. General Scott A. Spellmon of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to express concern, writing:
“The State of North Dakota is vitally concerned about the future of the Dakota Access Pipelines, the construction and operation of which has been authorized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for over four years. The Corps has also repeatedly defended DAPL for years as the safest and most environmentally friendly way to promote public interest by transporting oil from North Dakota to distant refineries, safely generating many thousands of good paying jobs and contributing to billions of dollars in tax revenues essential to the state of North Dakota.”
Since 2017, the Dakota Access Pipeline has helped transport 570,000 barrels of oil per day – approximately 40% of the Bakken’s oil output on a daily basis. Dakota Access plays a key role in the local economies that employ highly- skilled oilfield workers, union mechanics, pipefitters, electricians, and heavy equipment operators. DAPL yields a number of undeniable benefits for the state.
Stenehjem is not the only advocate for Dakota Access. Mark Fox, Chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara (MHA) Nation also wrote to the U.S. Army Corps requesting immediate consultation regarding the future of the pipeline. Fox notes that over half of the oil produced on the tribe’s reservation relies on transit via DAPL. Although recent protests in Washington highlight opposition to the pipeline, it is important to lend an ear to voices like Stenehjem and Fox and the facts they present.