Show us the money

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

While news cycles recount the emotions of the protest by Indians and others of the Dakota Access Pipeline's (DAPL) potential for contaminating our waterways and/or sacred grounds, the cold, hard fact is that the most popular mode of transporting crude oil - railroad tankers - is a far more dangerous and foreboding hazard than a properly laid pipeline underground out of harm's way.

Before the pipeline, an estimated one million barrels of Bakken crude oil was moved out of North Dakota by rail every day. That's the equivalent of nearly 13 crude oil trains each day at 100 tanker cars per train. Those trains, like ticking time bombs, roll through NW Iowa and the heart of Sioux City and other towns several times a day. Even through flooded terrain and compromised RR bridges!

Today, 520,000 barrels per day pass through the pipeline, cutting in half the number of RR tanker trains required.

Our underground is lined with infrastructure of gas and ammonia pipelines, water and sewer lines, electrical cables and conduits, and oil pipelines. Every safeguard is deployed in laying today's pipelines and other infrastructure.

If such beneficial projects are halted based on emotions and fear mongering, in the future it will be impossible to develop any form of energy infrastructure like an interstate electric power line, natural gas lines, a crude oil pipeline, a city sewer line, rural water lines, or even a four-lane highway.

Last year, the annual pipeline property tax payments to Cherokee County were $786,713. In 2018, more than $18 million was paid to 18 Iowa counties where the oil pipeline runs. Iowa is expected to receive $25 million for property taxes in 2019. These revenues help fund roads, schools, libraries, law enforcement agencies, and community programs.

Wow. Something we canít see benefiting greatly something we can.