Dear Future president,
One controversial topic among our country and my home state, ND, is the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The DAPL is 1,172 mile project that would connect the oil rich bakken with refineries in Illinois; it would also cross SD and Iowa. It was set to transfer about 470,000 barrels per day. About 60% of the project was complete when your former, overruled the the decision of a federal judge to not take an injunction. His actions occurred after the Standing Rock Sioux tribe protested the pipeline. Mainstream media has portrayed the pipeline company as an industrial tyrant who attacked the protesters with dogs; however, the dogs were brought into protect the company and only intervened with the protester after being provoked. The protesters would hit the dogs with sticks, throw rocks at them, and prod them with sticks.
I believe the DAPL should be allowed to finish construction. If we want to grow our economy this would be one step in doing it. According to daplpipelinefacts.com the pipeline will generate an estimated $55 million annually in property taxes for services to support schools, roads, emergency services and more. Not only will it generate a large property tax, it will also address transportation strains in the Upper Midwest created by the dramatic increase in crude oil production in North Dakota. A lack of rail cars to move grain out of South Dakota has magnified the problem. Tariffs on grain railcars have increased from $50 to nearly $1,400 per car. These cost increases can carve up to $1.00 from every bushel of corn shipped. This will help ease transportation shortages for agriculture and other industries. With 57% of the pipeline being manufactured in the US, that will only help our economy. Altogether the project will contribute nearly one billion dollars directly to the US economy, not including taxes every year.
If the construction of the DAPL is allowed to finish and operate it will not only help our damaged economy it will decrease our dependence on foreign oil. In 2015 we imported about 24% of the oil we used from foreign countries. Every barrel of oil that is produced here in the United States displaces another foreign barrel. So if oil can be pumped and refined faster and would help make our great nation more independent of foreign fuels. Then why wouldn’t would we not want such a project. Even though the it has great benefits not all agree with it. People protested because it could possibly fail and contaminate drinking water. However, according to statistics by the Department of Transportation pipelines are the safest mode of transporting crude oil. Not only is it safer than transporting oil through trucks or train, it will have 24-7 monitoring. They Energy Transfer company has also enlisted the project with the 811 call before you dig program. ND Public Service Commissioner, Julie Fedorchak, comments that he pipe is heavier duty when crossing a body of water. The pipeline also has block valves on both sides of the water crossing to allow for shut down of the pipeline in case of emergency. The EA ( environmental assessment) performed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service states that the DAPL will either have “no effect”or “ May affect, but not likely adversely affect”. The two water bodies that the project crosses are Lake Oahe and the Missouri River. It will be about 93 ft under Lake Oahe and at least 60 ft under the bottom of the Missouri River; the required depth is 30 ft underneath a body of water.
All in all, the benefits that would come from the Dakota Access Pipeline would greatly outweigh the risk of using it. As president you are an intellectual person, and should know to believe facts and statistics not the necessarily media, and the facts say that the DAPL would be beneficial to this great country of ours. There maybe an inherent risk with the pipeline, but really there is a risk of accident with any method of transporting crude oil. I ask you now, do you really care about our great country? If you do not allow the DAPL to finish and operate you are basically committing treason.
With Regards, Hunter Swartwout