The key to America’s national and energy security rests with our ability to provide for our own energy needs with our own natural resources, personnel, and infrastructure.
A proposed $3.7 billion dollar pipeline is planned for a 1,200-mile span from the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota to Illinois. This will allow North Dakota to export half of their daily crude output to the rest of America.
The Dakota Pipeline will immediately create over 8,000 construction jobs.
It will be a huge boost to regional employment, putting welders, mechanics, electricians, pipefitters, heavy equipment operators, truckers, and other complimentary trades in the manufacturing of materials needed to build the pipeline.
The economic benefit to the construction of the pipeline, with the state and local economies, is an estimated $129 million annually — to property and income taxes.
The service industries will also see a benefit through additional income to hotels, restaurants, etc. Once the pipeline is operational, it is estimated that states and local governments can see an estimated $50 million annually in property taxes and $74 million in sales taxes for the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, pipelines are the safest mode of transporting crude oil. The Dakota crude oil pipeline is designed to exceed stringent federal standards and will be built and operated using the most advanced technology and monitoring systems.
An exhaustive review process begun in 2014 for the building of the pipeline and to date there have been close to 400 meetings, surveys, hearings, and lawsuits. This pipeline has been fully reviewed and approved by all four states affected as well by the Army Corp of Engineers.
The North Dakota Public Service Commission is also supports the pipeline and has been involved in the review process from the start. This project has been green-lighted and the necessary permits have been issued for construction to begin.
So why then is the pipeline not being constructed?
It's reported that the Sioux Indian Tribe represented by the radical “EarthJustice” filed a lawsuit to halt construction. It is well documented that the Sioux, despite their claims, were not given the opportunity to make their own review of the effects on cultural sites as well as of the environmental impact on their lands, and did not participate in the approval process in spite of outreach to them.
A handful environmental rabble-rousers with a radical environmental agenda seeks to stop a multi-billion dollar project based solely on unsupported facts, threats, and innuendo.
Presently before the federal court is the application by the opponents for an injunction enjoining the construction of the pipeline and thereby denying that which the nation and states affected want and need.
I say the court should either deny the motion for an injunction outright or require the parties seeking an injunction to post with the court a $1 billion dollar bond in good faith of their allegation and claims.
We as a nation cannot cower or bow to environmental extortion or terrorism.
The administrative process played out as intended. And just because a super minority of activists does not like the decision cannot deny parties what they are entitled to as a matter of law.
The Dakota Pipeline is needed. It will create a new and safer mode of transporting needed domestic crude to our nation. It will provide much needed jobs and is in our national security and energy interests.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.
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