Following the announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, there continues to be headlines and rhetoric advertising the project’s demise. But a number of the United States’ top-tier editorial boards understood that this decision is more than the headlines suggested.
First an editorial out by The Wall Street Journal discussed the exhaustive consultations between the company, native tribes and regulators that resulted in a finding of “no significant impact” and highlighted that the Corps’ decision “has jeopardized its integrity and created a legal quagmire by requiring an exhaustive new environmental impact statement that considers alternative routes.”
Another piece by USA Today touted the importance of the project stating:
“It would be the first major pipeline bringing access to the Bakken oil fields that have been so much a part of America’s energy production renaissance…pipelines fill a vital need for the economy and for America’s energy security and therefore need to be built.”
It also noted how attempts by environmentalists to thwart this project are not the proper way to reach climate change goals, noting that [this decision] “will have little impact on the environment beyond their immediate environs.”
Finally, the most recent article by the The Washington Post’s editorial team, titled “A False Victory at Standing Rock,” recapped the lead-up of activity to the decision and put this recent announcement into perspective echoing USA Today’s sentiments:
“No matter how big the issues activists attached to them, these pipelines, at their core, are nothing more than routine infrastructure projects, thousands of which underpin the U.S. economy. The approval or denial of one or two will do little to cure global oil addiction or right generations of harm to tribal groups.”
This decision and its coverage is a key example of why this debate needs a robust and honest discussion about our nation’s infrastructure. The reality is manufacturers have benefited significantly from access to this clean, safe and affordable energy source. But we need to further invest in our nation’s energy infrastructure projects to deliver natural gas to businesses and communities across the nation to strengthen our advantage in this increasingly competitive market.
It’s time for stakeholders who will truly benefit from these projects to raise their voices and tell our new administration that to have further growth and success, Americans will need infrastructure to ensure that the nation’s ample supply of resources are delivered efficiently, safely and securely to the end users who need it.