MAIN Coalition Statement on Possible EIS

According to news reports, today, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s Chairman Harold Frazier met with President Obama today at a private round table event held in Los Angeles.  According to a statement, Frazier asked President Obama to require a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the entire Dakota Access Pipeline. It is worth noting that the four state governments each did environmental impact surveys and ultimately approved the Dakota Access pipeline.

The following is a statement from the MAIN Coalition on this development:

“We are seeing obstructionists call in every political favor and do everything in their power to thwart the lawful completion of the Dakota Access pipeline.  Now they are seeking something the federal government has no lawful authority to give: the requirement of a full environmental impact statement on the entire 1,172 mile pipeline.  We are a federalist nation where states and the federal government share power, and when it comes to major infrastructure projects – like the Dakota Access pipeline – there are clear delineations of that power.  The federal government has conducted an appropriate comprehensive Environmental Assessment and provided approval for the 3 percent of the project’s land within its jurisdiction – including Lake Oahe.  As such, so too have the four states carefully examined and approved the remaining over 1,100 miles of the pipeline route in their jurisdictions. 

As a reminder, the Dakota Access pipeline is co-located with the Northern Border Gas pipeline that went into service in 1982 and, at no point, does it enter the Standing Rock Sioux’s reservation land.  Additionally, pipelines are – by far – the safest and most economical means to transport petroleum products and when completed, the Dakota Access pipeline will supplant the need for rail and truck transport of hundreds of thousands of barrels of product a day.  This is not only safer and less expensive, but also considerably less carbon intensive and will free up rail and trucks to transport grain and other agricultural products from the Midwest to the rest of the nation.

Now the 1,172 mile project hangs on approving the approval for a 1,000 feet crossing under Lake Oahe.  And while we believe if the decision is ultimately based on the facts, science, and the rule of the law the pipeline will be able to be completed and become operational; however, the Coalition is deeply concerned that a political decision by the federal government could kill the project either outright or by undetermined delay.  This would strike a blow to our nation’s energy security, cost thousands of skilled labor jobs, and send a frightening signal to companies considering private infrastructure development in the United States.  And while that would delight the Environmental Left, it would be disastrous to our nation’s economy, our nation’s energy security, and our nation’s workforce.”