What a difference a year makes.
Last January, the Obama Administration took one final shot just before Inauguration Day to try to stop the Dakota Access (DAPL) pipeline project by issuing notice that the project would require another environmental evaluation. This after almost three years of review of the DAPL application, six months of costly protests by anti-fossil fuel activists, and a late denial of the final easement needed to build the pipeline.
After taking office, the Trump administration was quick to grant federal approvals for the pipeline. In June, the 1,100-mile long pipeline went into service and began transporting crude oil.
As predicted, DAPL is already bringing great benefits to North Dakota and for our nation. Drilling operations have increased dramatically, significantly more American oil is being produced, and jobs are being created. A new editorial by the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) highlights the advantages:
Increased oil production has resulted in job growth. North Dakota’s unemployment rate was 2.3% in November, and more than 850 existing wells need fracking crews. State revenue rose by about $43.5 million in the first five months the pipeline was operational. And solely because of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the state is on track for $210 million to $250 million in additional tax revenue by the end of this biennial budget period.
When ordering the expedited federal approval of DAPL, the President stated “I believe that construction and operation of lawfully permitted pipeline infrastructure serve the national interest.”
As long-time leaders in the call for more pipelines and energy infrastructure, we wholeheartedly agree with the President. Pipelines remain the best way to move oil and natural gas. Pipelines and energy infrastructure power America, and more are needed to spread the benefits of the energy revolution throughout our entire nation. The Dakota Access story is great news for the American people – and if smart policies and the right leadership prevail, we hope to hear more like it in the future.