Letter to the editor: A modest pipeline proposal

In March 2015 the Iowa Utilities Board approved construction of the Bakken pipeline, which crosses 18 Iowa counties. Source: Dakota Access LLC

To the editor:

Dakota Access wants to build a hazardous pipeline across Iowa and so should be considered a social welfare group working for the public good.

They are a limited liability corporation, and Iowa law requires them to have a surety bond of only $250,000. They deserve more public support for their investment in case of spills and reduced profits as oil prices plunge with oversupply.

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) approval will declare this corporation “serves the public necessity and convenience” and give Dakota Access eminent domain rights over private landowners. The three-person IUB is composed of Governor Branstad’s political appointees, and they can make this happen. Only two of them have to agree.

We must protect these out-of-state private investors. We have already given Dakota Access hundreds of thousands of dollars in technical and legal support, permits, endorsements, research and positive press.

Although this corporation doesn’t pay one dollar in state or federal taxes, they deserve tax credits, forgivable loans and exemptions, along with grants for creating as many as 20 permanent jobs.

If Dakota Access is working for our convenience, they should have exemption from further government interference and red tape. The IRS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iowa Attorney General, Iowa DNR and our media should not investigate or publicly shed light on their business practices and political spending.

If we support the pipeline, we should support our governor and other public officials as they trample private landowners’ rights and plunder the public good.

Mark Edwards


  1. If this pipeline is so damn important, put it in the Right of Way of Iowa Highway 20 running east and west and then down Iowa Highway 218 to get south! Then it’s the State of Iowa’s problem if there is a leak, and honest landowners won’t get screwed on the eminent domain feature!

  2. Iowa already has some of the most polluted water in the nation. Now they’re shoving this environmental debacle down our throats whether we like it or not. Exemptions my eye! The public should insist every speck of red tape that can be had should be thrown at this project. Let the Koch brothers pay for their own insurance.


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