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 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.