Proceed with caution on pipeline

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Dakota Access Pipeline is engaged in a massive public relations campaign to convince the public, particularly in the areas where the pipeline in going through.

There are some benefits to the project. There will be an immediate economic benefit for landowners. The environmental risks are reason to worry but the alternative of rail cars filled with highly volatile oil poses an even higher risk of catastrophe.

There are still some concerns that have not been fully addressed. Property owners will get substantial up front payments for right of way without ongoing revenue. If the pipeline remains in operation for generation after generation, the pipeline becomes a potential risk to future owners without compensation to them.

There also needs to be adequate ongoing compensation for the risk to local and state entities posed by either a catastrophic pipe failure or eventual abandonment.

Once the pipeline is completed there will be minimal continuing payroll for either operation or maintenance of the facility.

Our advice for both landowners and the Iowa Utilities Board is to proceed with caution.