President Joe Biden’s war on domestic fossil fuel production has led North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum to lobby the administration not to disrupt the operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline to preserve jobs and investments.
“In a letter sent earlier this week, Burgum asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers not to shutter the pipeline after a federal judge last month ruled that it is running without a key permit at its Lake Oahe Crossing near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation,” the North Dakota-based Inforum website reported.
Burgum, a Republican, wrote:
The Corps approved the installation of the pipeline. To pull the plug now, after the pipeline has been operating safely for more than three years, would severely impair future capital investment in much-needed projects at a time when America is in desperate need of infrastructure upgrades, jobs and economic activity to accelerate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The website article provided details about the letter:
Burgum sent his letter Tuesday, Feb. 11, a day before a federal court deadline that would have forced the Army Corps to lay out its plans for the pipeline and its invalid permit. That deadline was bumped to April 9 after a judge granted the Army Corps an extension.
Since taking office last month, Biden has rolled out a series of bold executive orders aimed at combatting climate change, several of which North Dakota officials criticized as damaging to the state’s oil industry.
The recent court ruling on the Dakota Access pipeline has left an open path for the Army Corps, under Biden’s authority, to shut down the pipeline, which can carry 570,000 barrels of oil a day from the Bakken formation to market around the country. Earlier this month, Burgum condemned Biden’s executive order suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands, directing state agencies to assess the economic damages and “identify opportunities” to challenge the new federal actions.
Experts say that the pipeline shutdown also could have a negative impact on food prices.
Stopping this energy resource will “hit the American people directly in the pocketbook,” Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, said in a Fox News report:
The fact of the matter is that America needs energy for its everyday standard of living and that energy is going to come from somewhere. Any efforts to either stifle our infrastructure system or our exploration and production system, all of that accrues to the benefit of someone else, not the American people.
Agricultural economist Elaine Kub said in a legal filing last fall that shutting down the Dakota Access pipeline would cost Corn Belt farmers more than $1 billion in annual revenue and “drive up food costs for consumers” as oil would command keyspace on railroad cars needed to transport agricultural products long distances.Shipping corn from Minneapolis to Portland costs $1.31 per bushel by rail, but would cost $3.84 by truck, Kub said.
The American Farm Bureau Federation said the competition for transportation for oil and agriculture goods if the pipeline is capped would impact consumers.
Biden already revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which put thousands of workers out of a job and countless more jobs indirectly connected to the project in several western states are also affected.
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