Although the trials and tribulations of the Keystone XL pipeline are well know by now, there is another pipeline in the works that is the source of a bitter battle between two leftist groups: the Dakota Access pipeline.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that labor unions, which support the $3.7 billion pipeline traveling from North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation for 1,172 miles through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, are engaged in a fight with environmentalists, determined to shut down the pipeline.
The four states have approved of the project, as did the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over federal lands and water crossings, in late July.
But the pipeline has already been targeted by arsonists three times in August; one fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage. Last Thursday 12 protesters were arrested for encroaching on a zone established for workers' safety.
EarthJustice and Oil Change International have created online petitions urging the Army Corps of Engineers to reject the pipeline; Hollywood leftists have joined in the anti-pipeline effort, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Rosario Dawson, and Shailene Woodley. Native American tribes have joined the anti-pipeline effort.
Meanwhile, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) is fighting back, stating, “From improved access to domestic fuel to a $5 billion economic infusion in the form of jobs, tax payments and reimbursements for landowners, communities stand to gain much from construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline … For the highly skilled and trained men and women of LIUNA, projects like the Dakota Access are more than just pipelines. They are crucial lifelines to family-supporting jobs.”
“We’ve been inundated with calls from all over the country from people wanting to work on this pipeline project."
Laborers Local 563 Business Agent Cory Bryson
Laborers Local 563 Business Agent Cory Bryson said, “We’ve been inundated with calls from all over the country from people wanting to work on this pipeline project. Mainline pipeline projects like Dakota Access provide excellent working opportunities for our members and tremendous wages. The Laborers excel at this work.”
Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, says between 8,000 and 12,000 construction jobs and $156 million in tax revenue will result from the pipeline’s construction.