Letter to the editor: Branstad’s Bakken pipeline deal ‘a rigged game’

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:

Authorization for taking private property away from individual landowners and allowing an out-of-state limited liability corporation (LLC) to use their land for the company’s profit was given by the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB).

This land grab required the agreement of only two of the three IUB board members, all hand-picked and politically appointed by the governor.

An LLC means the company may or may not have any assets, and therefore their liability is limited. Dakota Access LLC testified at the IUB hearing that it is a “pass through” entity with virtually no assets.

At the proposed pumping rate, this pipeline will pass through about 24 million gallons of crude oil a day. At, say, $1 a gallon, that’s $24 million a day for an LLC to move this oil through Iowa and overseas to the world market.

What does Iowa get for this? The pipeline could also pump 1 million gallons of toxic crude an hour into Iowa’s public water bodies and invaluable soil.

This is clearly a rigged game for the benefit of a few. It does not serve the public convenience as required by state law and actually threatens the common good.

It does undermine our faith in this government to protect and serve the people.

Mark Edwards


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