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.