Michels Pipeline Establishes Dakota Access Staging Area at Huron

Saturday I noticed that the old stockyard along US 212 in Redfield has been turned into a staging area for construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Mary Lou Davis sends photos of equipment she’s seen moved over the last couple months into an even bigger Dakota Access staging area on the west side of Huron, on the truck bypass at West Park and 9th Street SW:

Michels Construction equipment at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Michels Construction equipment at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Parking at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Parking at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Earth-moving equipment at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Earth-moving equipment at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Stockpile of planks for temporary roads at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Stockpile of planks for temporary roads at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Stockpile of planks for temporary roads at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.
Stockpile of planks for temporary roads at Huron staging area for Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: Mary Lou Davis, 2016.05.27.

Michels Pipeline, whose equipment we see labeled in the first photo, built TransCanada’s leaky Keystone 1 pipeline across South Dakota in 2009. Michels and Precision Pipeline, both Wisconsin companies, received contracts for this new pipeline from Dakota Access/Energy Partners last September. I don’t know who owns the Huron property being used by Michels for equipment storage and worker parking or how much they are making, but down in Iowa, Precision is paying the city of Colfax $4,000 a month in a one-year lease of city land for a Dakota Access staging area.

Dakota Access has said their $3.78-billion pipeline “will create an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 jobs during construction, providing work for welders, mechanics, electricians, pipe fitters, heavy equipment operators and others within the heavy construction industry.” Of course, “create” might exaggerate: if Dakota Access weren’t being built, Michels, Precision, and their subcontractors likely would have bid other jobs that would have kept their regular staff just as busy.

Whatever the number, those pipeline jobs are union jobs, and our friends in labor want ’em:

Unfortunately, environmental extremists, who are against extracting fossil fuels from the ground, are pressuring the federal government to perform more environmental studies on the project. Their goal is to delay this project as long as they can in hopes of ultimately killing the entire project. We cannot let them prevail. Contact your elected officials in Washington today.

The Dakota Access Pipeline will improve overall safety to the public and environment. It will reduce crude oil shipped by truck and by rail and increase the amount shipped by pipeline. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, pipelines are the safest and most efficient means to transport crude oil, according statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation [emphasis original; International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, press release, 2016.05.13].

So heading north and east from Huron, and around Herreid, Redfield, Humboldt, Harrisburg, and elsewhere on the Dakota Access route, watch out for all those big trucks hauling plank and pipe.


20 Responses to Michels Pipeline Establishes Dakota Access Staging Area at Huron

  1. I think the same thing is going on at the corner Hyw 81 and 34 12 miles west of Madison

  2. mike from iowa

    This is interesting-iowa guv Braindead appoints a business friendly Dem head of PUC shortly after Mid-America Energy complained about having to refund money to customers. Of course the former Puc head’s firing had nothing to do with the complaint from MAE. Of course it didn’t.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/15/utitilies-board-senate-outlook/24810837/

  3. Paul Seamans

    I must repeat this again. The Dept of Transportation’s site, phmsa, says that for equal amounts of barrels shipped that pipelines leak more oil than rail shipment. It would take a lot of wrecked railcars to equal the one spill at Kalamazoo of 800,000 barrels.

  4. Michels has an equipment staging area at the junction of U.S. 281 and state highway 20 (Mellette corner) as well. They are already digging in pipe just west of Cresbard along highway 20. It is a mess! I was told by one farmer affected by the pipeline route that he was paid $100,000 for his quarter of land to be crossed, and his neighbor who got a lawyer and put up resistance eventually settled for $450,000 for letting them cross his land. Isn’t it amazing how lots of money thrown at financially stressed farmers allows Dakota Access to claim 100% support of landowners along the pipeline route. This just proves that all that concern for the land and water gets “trumped” by big oil willing to dole out millions of dollars to silence critics.

  5. mike from iowa

    http://www.thegazette.com/subject/opinion/guest-columnists/stop-delays-of-dakota-access-pipeline-20160427

    Somebody for some reason is in a yuuuuuge hurry to get this pipeline going. There is too much at stake to rush rush and John Q Citizen has a right to question decisions the public is largely unaware of. All possible bad consequences will still be there tomorrow or the next day. Chill out,Dude.

  6. mike from iowa

    The head of Michels Corporation is a staunch wingnut who ran for and lost the US Senate seat in Wisconsin to Russ Feingold. What-don’t Democrats own pipeline Companies?

  7. The 4th photo down from the top could have been taken as Canton, SD, as there looks to be a stockpile there as well.

  8. What could go wrong? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/nyregion/beneath-cities-a-decaying-tangle-of-gas-pipes.html?_r=0

    We can’t even keep the pipe we have working. The good news though is that our pipelines are just about as safe as those in Russia or those in most third world countries, so we got that going for us, which is a good thing.

  9. Owen! They’re staging at 34/81 by Winfred? Jake’s Corner is going to sell a lot of pop and sandwiches….

  10. Ed, remarkable numbers! How does $100K or $450K compare to area farmers’ average annual earnings?

  11. MIke—Tim Michels! 2004 candidate against Feingold! Good catch! The pipeline business has been keeping him busy enough to stay out of politics since, it appears.

  12. Nick Nemec

    Cory, I stopped at Jake’s Corner last Friday, just to the south of Jake’s lot there were millions and millions of dollars worth of construction machines parked. I stopped in for a coffee and sandwich, got the coffee without problem and grabbed the last sandwich (bacon-egg croissant) in the warming cabinet. The gal at the til was busy and was the only person I saw working the store, she noticed she was out of sandwiches and made a comment about finding time to make more.

  13. Staring at all that equipment across the parking lot, I’d be asking those guys for a copy of their work schedule and ordering sandwiches accordingly.

  14. All of that pristine farmland that is being plowed up and raped will now be owned in full by the pipeline to do whatever it is they want to do with it. It is not lost on me that my Republican brothers and sisters scream about the government but yet they allow the state government to jackboot their butts into submission like the days of merry ole Warsaw. Hide and watch, they on the right, will vote the bums into office again after this because of some potty bill they think is more important than their individual property rights and freedom. Make America Great Again, what a line of bullpuckey. We see how that is working out in South Dakota under the same kind of regime. Vote republican, loose freedom!

  15. Paul Seamans

    I blame the PUC for allowing Dakota Access to start construction before they have all their permits. What happens if the Army Corps of Engineers denies the permit to cross the Missouri River near Cannonball ND? At the very least this would mean a route change meaning that land is being torn up that will not have a pipeline installed on it.

  16. The PUC is just an acronym for Property Under Control. They set their own rules and agendas, with no one to answer to. It is truly government out of control. Most voters are as ignorant about the PUC as they are with Rent A Centers or drug co pays. Voters are too busy to be bothered with the reality of leaking pipes and failing infrastructure until it starts to ooze out of the ground or blows up. Third world stuff, send in the private storm troops then to guard it when it fails, put a patch on it and wait until the next one happens.

    South Dakota looks at the Missouri River like Brazil looks at the Atlantic Ocean, just another spot to dump crap. Fish can be purchased at the grocery store as well as drinking water, range cattle are really overrated anyway according to the way the state looks at the treatment of ranchers. Try bringing up COOL and you get the drift.

  17. Cory, the dollar amounts being doled out to farmers for right of ways are probably more than they net in income in a normal year.

  18. Wow, Ed! With offers like that, some Iowa farmers still resisted the pipeline. But all South Dakota landowners “voluntarily” complied. If Big Oil has the resources to make those kind of payouts to get landowners to surrender their property rights and ongoing safety, imagine how easy it is for Big Oil to buy politicians’ votes.

  19. Paul Seamans

    The bad thing about eminent domain law is that a judge can only award damages based on the value of the land, nothing more. If you have plans to build a housing development twenty years down the road that does not figure in to what a judge can award.

    On the Keystone XL route I had a neighbor on the route who would not deal with TransCanada. They took him to court in Jones County and the jury awarded even less than TransCanada had offered. TransCanada claims that they did not take anyone to eminent domain court in South Dakota. They lie.

    Maybe the landowners on the DAPL route realized this and decided to settle before going to court. I’m not saying that is the correct choice, just saying. I signed an easement with TransCanada for the KXL in 2010. If I had to do it all over again I would not sign. Period.

  20. Trade deals, who can be for them besides the billionaires? Only elected officials, who did not see this coming? http://www.keystone-xl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/TransCanada-Request-for-Arbitratio-2n.pdf