On his final full day in office, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple penned an op-ed in the Billings Gazette entitled “Setting Record Straight on Dakota Access Pipeline.” Dalrymple highlights key project facts, condemns the #NoDAPL movement for terrorizing his state, and thanks law enforcement for their honorable service.
MAIN hopes that incoming Governor Doug Burgum will not only continue Dalrymple’s legacy of honoring the rule of law and fact, but also advocate as vocally for the completion of the Dakota Access project.
The follow represents a selection of the facts Dalrymple felt the public overlooked or simply was unaware of:
“A 13-month review process included public input meetings which were held across the state. As a result of these meetings, the route was modified 140 times to ensure environmental safety, including a shift to follow an existing gas pipeline corridor so as not to create an entirely new pathway.”
“Not one person from the tribe attended any of the meetings and hearings publicly noticed by state regulators over the course of two years. The pipeline’s permitted route never crosses tribal land.”
“Those opponents who cite the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie to dispute who owns the lands conveniently ignore the later treaty of 1868.”
“With respect to the pipeline’s proximity to the Standing Rock Reservation’s water supply, its existing intake was already scheduled to be shut down by the end of 2016 and replaced by an intake in South Dakota, some 70 miles away.”
“It is unacceptable that the facts of the permitting process were not only omitted in much of the discussion among those who disagreed with the pipeline, but were twisted in order to paint the state of North Dakota and federal government as reckless and racist.”
“Roads were blocked, land leased by private individuals for ranching was trespassed on, property was damaged including several head of cattle and horses which were slaughtered in the field, and privately-owned construction equipment was vandalized. These acts were lawless and anything but peaceful.”
“To date over 500 arrests have been made, most of them for trespassing on private property and unauthorized public spaces, but some arrests were also for violent, threatening and destructive behavior.”
“When complete, it will deliver one-half of the petroleum production from the Bakken region to markets throughout the U.S. And, it will be much, much safer from an environmental standpoint than the alternative modes of truck or rail transportation.”
“Thee 1,172-mile pipeline is virtually complete from North Dakota to Illinois, with the exception of this river crossing.”
“Now that winter, including several feet of snow and sub-freezing temperatures, has settled into our state, law enforcement and several neighboring communities have gone above and beyond to help rescue and shelter people who came unprepared to handle our weather. Public schools have been opened as shelters, and law enforcement has repeatedly given warnings to safely leave the camp ahead of major storm warnings.”