Tom Miller lone Democratic AG to stand with Big Oil on DAPL suit


Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 2:00 pm CT [UPDATED 1/27/21 11:00 am CT]
Contact Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or [email protected]

Tom Miller lone Democratic AG to stand with Big Oil on DAPL suit
While praising the Court’s ruling, anti-DAPL group blasts Iowa AG’s role

Des Moines, Iowa — In a ruling issued today by the US Court of Appeals, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a partial victory after a long court battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The Court required the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which has significant ramifications for the future of the pipeline. However, the Court declined to shut down the pipeline while that EIS is in progress, making the ruling a partial victory for the Tribe and its allies.

Among those lining up on either side of the case, 30 attorneys general (AG) weighed in. Eighteen supported the Tribe (sixteen states, plus Guam and Washington, DC). Twelve supported the pipeline company. The lone Democratic attorney general supporting DAPL was Iowa’s Tom Miller. (Text of the amicus brief supported by Miller and others can be viewed here.)

“We could not be more disappointed in Attorney General Tom Miller,” said Bold Iowa director, Ed Fallon. “In siding with Big Oil against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Miller also stood against the many Iowa farmers and landowners forced to fight DAPL as their land was stolen through eminent domain. Miller also stood against the many Iowans working to address the climate crisis. If the pipeline leaks or breaks, we’ll remember that Miller stood against protecting Iowa’s water, too.”

Bold Iowa also pushed back against claims made in the amicus brief supported by Miller: “For the AGs supporting the pipeline company to say that shutting down DAPL would prevent farmers from shipping grain by rail, and that pipelines are a ‘safer’ way to ship oil, is absurd,” said Fallon. “Most brazenly, Miller and others argue that shutting down the pipeline would be bad for the environment. Perhaps that’s not surprising, since the amicus brief never once mentions an oil leak’s impact on our water or climate.”

Miller is the longest-serving attorney general in US history, having held the office for 38 years.

Referencing a press release Bold Iowa sent out last week about statements President Biden made in opposition to DAPL in 2019, Fallon added: “While we hope for a favorable outcome from the EIS, it’s important for President Biden to keep his word and shut down DAPL now, especially as Dakota Access pushes to double the flow of oil. Doubling the flow of oil might double Dakota Access’ profits, but it also doubles the risk to our climate and water.”

Bold Iowa was founded in 2015 in response to the Dakota Access Pipeline to build rural-urban coalitions to (1) fight climate change, (2) prevent the abuse of eminent domain, (3) protect Iowa’s soil, air, and water, (4) defend the rights of farmers, landowners, and Indigenous communities, and (5) promote non-industrial renewable energy.