GAIN Applauds Local South Dakota Decision to Follow Recommendations

Earlier today, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to uphold the Planning Commissions’ approval of the conditional use permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline pump station in Harrisburg, South Dakota. The pipeline currently ships more than 570,000 barrels of oil from the Bakken in North Dakota to refineries across the Midwest and Gulf regions. Construction of the estimated $30-40 million pump station in South Dakota will lead to more jobs and help allow the pipeline to double its capacity up to 1.1 million barrels a day.

Following is a statement from the GAIN Coalition which you can attribute to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the coalition.

“We applaud the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners who supported the recommendations and the existing rules and regulations that will help the U.S. become more energy self-reliant and bring construction jobs to South Dakota. Developing the energy resources in the Bakken has been a tremendous benefit to our nation’s economy and energy security. By optimizing the Dakota Access Pipeline we will be able to develop more of our nation’s resources for use here in the U.S. as well as hedge against oil volatility elsewhere in the world. Pipelines remain the safest and most economical means to transport the petroleum our country needs and when officials like those in Lincoln County follow the letter and spirit of existing regulations, it allows for regulatory certainty for companies seeking to invest in our nation’s infrastructure.”

GAIN Coalition Supports Proposed Federal Legislation to Protect Pipelines

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) called on Congress to expand federal legislation to protect pipelines. Current law allows for fines and prison time for “damaging or destroying” pipelines currently in operation. Under the proposal, the law would be expanded to include “vandalism, tampering with, or impeding, disrupting or inhibiting the operation of” both existing pipelines or “those under construction.” The proposal follows a recent trend in statehouses around the country introducing, and in some cases passing, similar legislation to protect critical energy infrastructure.

Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition.

“The GAIN Coalition commends PHMSA for their recent proposal calling on Congress to strengthen legislation at the federal level to protect our nation’s critical energy infrastructure. While free speech and discourse surrounding pipelines are important, there is a formal process that welcomes public comment and concerns. We encourage those interested to participate in this process and have their voice heard.

Once pipelines are lawfully permitted – it is critical developers are guaranteed regulatory certainty so projects can move forward in a meaningful and predictable manner, and ultimately come into service. This proposed legislation will play a key role in protecting our nation’s pipeline network, as well as keeping workers, law enforcement, and community members safe.”