Letters needed to stop pipeline expansion

CALLING ALL PIPELINE OPPONENTS! WRITE TO THE IUB!

We need as many pipeline opponents as possible to write to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) and ask the board to stand strong against the aggressive tactics of Dakota Access. The pipeline company has been pushing officials in Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, and North Dakota to double the amount of oil flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). We can and must stop them.

CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO SEND A LETTER TO THE IUB. You’ll notice that sending a letter is called “submit a filing” on the IUB website. You can submit a filing as a registered user (right side of the screen) or as a guest (left side of the screen, under the red letters). The docket number is HLP-2014-0001.

There are many reasons why this is a dangerous and unjust proposal. Here are a handful. Pick one or two points to focus on, and send a copy of your letter to me at ed@boldiowa.com.

— Dakota Access claims that doubling the flow of oil “will not prejudice the substantial legal rights of any person (paragraph 8 of Request for Waiver).” The company argues that, because no additional land will be taken forcibly through eminent domain, no one will be negatively affected. This completely ignores both the impact of an oil spill and the terrible impact on our climate.

— Oil Change International estimated that the current flow of 570,000 barrels of oil per day through DAPL is equal to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from 30 coal-fired power plants (click here to learn more). Doubling the oil means another huge increase in GHG emissions — at a time when scientists warn of the urgency to reduce emissions immediately.

— In approving the original permit for DAPL, the IUB only marginally considered the pipeline’s impact on climate change. With news out this past week that nine key climate tipping points have become active far earlier than scientists originally predicted, it’s imperative that the IUB weigh climate change as part of its deliberation. (Click here for the Guardian story.)

— In paragraph 7 of its Request for Waiver, Dakota Access argues that the expansion of DAPL is “being made in response to demand for domestically-produced crude oil … in order to satisfy that demand and deliver the benefits to all Americans (emphasis added).” Perhaps Dakota Access is hoping that the IUB (and the rest of us) won’t notice that the US just became a net exporter of oil. This expansion isn’t for domestic consumption. It’s for export, and to allow wealthy oil and gas tycoons to get even richer.

— In its Request for Waiver  (paragraph 4), Dakota Access asks the IUB to exempt it from the requirement to hold a public hearing. It is a bit comical that Dakota Access claims that holding a hearing “causes undue hardship.”

— In its September 6, 2019 order, the IUB requires Dakota Access to “provide expert testimony of … the effect adding the additive [DRA, or drag reducing agent] to the oil will have on the longevity of the pipeline components and whether the additive will increase the risk of a spill or other incident on the pipeline.” In Dakota Access’ November 27 response, it essentially claims that DRA is safe and presents no problem. But the IUB didn’t ask Dakota Access for its opinion. It ordered Dakota Access to “provide expert testimony,” i.e., analysis of the safety of DRA by an expert unassociated with Dakota Access. Dakota Access is conveniently overlooking this blatant conflict of interest.

— Similarly, in its September 6, 2019 order, the IUB also required Dakota Access to “provide expert testimony of whether the increased flow will increase the amount of oil that will be released if a spill occurs.” Again, Dakota Access responds without providing any expert testimony beyond its own biased opinion.

— You can also point out to members of the IUB that ten presidential candidates have weighed in with statements opposing DAPL’s expansion. Here’s the link to our press release cataloguing those statements.

Thank you! – Ed Fallon