Below are some testimonials from community members in Illinois, Dakota Access’ terminus:
Morgan County highway engineer Matt Coultas: “I remember another pipeline that came through the area a few years ago, and this has been most pleasurable compared to that. It’s been nice to be in the know about where they’re at. I get a daily email about what areas they are working at in the county and what activities are happening in those areas so I can know what to expect. I’ve been pretty appreciative of that…Any time they cause any road issues, they make sure that I am one of the first people to know about it so we can go out and address those issues or they address it themselves.”
Murrayville Village President Jay Lewis: “They do a good job with the roads. They try to accommodate for traffic and keep things cleaned and swept up. I’ve seen the sweeper out on the road several times. We talked to a couple of the bosses for the pipeline and told them that with school starting back up and all of the truck traffic to be sure their guys are watching out, keeping to the speed limits and everything. They’ve done a super job with that.”
Village President James Rausch: “[workers] are very friendly and accommodating…They visit local businesses, the restaurants and liquor establishments, and never a minute of trouble out of any of them here in this community.”
Community member Bob Dahman: “My sons and I met with them several times, and they treated us real nice. They’ve already gone through my farm and got it buried. We are pleased with the way they spread the dirt back out. We pulled up right beside where they were digging and watched them work. They put in a 30-inch pipe, I think, and they buried it pretty deep, too.”
Macoupin County Board Chairman Mark Dragovich: “I know they have problems in some other states, but through here I haven’t heard of anything, it seemed to go pretty smooth. The pipeline route through the county runs from near Scottville in the northwest to the Mount Olive area in the southeast.”
Mount Sterling City Administrator Vada Yingling: “A lot of the workers are staying locally, they are spending dollars in our community, they are buying gas and food, paying rent, coming out in the evening and enjoying our establishments. They are creating sales tax revenue for us. A handful brought campers in to our fairgrounds that are paying to stay there. It’s been a shot in the arm for us.”
It would appear that the court of public opinion isn’t as one-sided as protestors make it out to be.