To paraphrase the famous Mark Twain quote: “Recent reports suggesting the construction of the Bakken pipeline is a done deal are greatly exaggerated.” In fact, regardless of the Iowa Utilities Board’s upcoming decision, many hurdles still remain in the way of the project.
If the Board does decide to grant the permit, both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources still will have to issue permits before the pipeline could be constructed. Depending on what studies these authorities may require, their respective permits may not be issued for a very long time, if ever.
The Board’s decision to grant the permit most certainly will be appealed in court. Grounds include 1) challenging the authority of the IUB’s unelected, three-person panel to grant an out-of-state private oil company the power of eminent domain; 2) the Board's failure to require a basic environmental impact statement and give adequate consideration to the project's threat to Iowa's economy and to the world's climate; 3) the pipeline's impact on endangered species; and 4) the Board’s clear disregard for the public convenience and necessity; among others.
In addition, the nearly 300 impacted landowners, who have not signed voluntary easements, will have the right, under Iowa law, to file individual lawsuits against Dakota Access, challenging its authority to enforce eminent domain. Needless-to-say, these lawsuits could cost Dakota Access millions of dollars in legal expenses and block the project indefinitely.
And above and beyond these and other possible legal strategies, No Bakken Here, our 1,000 citizen strong local group committed to stopping the pipeline, will continue the fight. Together with our statewide, 30-organization, Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, we are not about to allow the Bakken pipeline to be forced down the throats of our neighbors and put our communities' water supplies at risk. We will not give in to a private oil company nor to an Iowa government that appears to be more concerned with enriching a private Texas oil corporation than with protecting the rights, wellbeing, and future of Iowans.
We invite everyone who cares about protecting the private rights of landowners and the future of Iowa’s soil, water, and climate to join us. For more information, please email NoBakkenHere@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook.