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December 13, 2023

Attorney General Bird Leads 26-State Coalition Urging Continuation of Dakota Access

DES MOINES—Today, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird led a 26-state coalition in a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, urging the Corps to allow oil and gas to flow through the Dakota Access that has safely operated from North Dakota to Illinois for over six years. The letter also opposes the Corps’s proposed alternatives—requiring shutting down, digging up, or building more than 100 extra miles—which will cause significant financial losses, harm to the States, and unnecessary challenges for farmers.

For more than six years, Dakota Access has safely transported crucial oil across the country. It creates thousands of jobs and generates property tax revenue that supports essential services including schools, hospitals, and emergency response. Despite years of safe operation, Dakota Access’s future is uncertain given that a small section of the more than 1,000-mile-long route runs under federal land. The draft environmental impact statement, prepared by the Corps of Engineers, threatens a permanent shutdown.

“Dakota Access drives our State forward,” said Attorney General Bird. “Its continuing operation will protect farmers, generate tax revenue for States, and mitigate risk of oil spills. It’s safe and reliable with a track record of success. We urge the Army Corps of Engineers to protect States’ interests and allow for the Dakota Access’s continued operation.”

By shutting Dakota Access down, digging it up, or building a 100+ mile detour, the States will face significant harm. The proposed alternatives will create a cargo crisis by taking Dakota Access oil and redirecting it to trucks and rail. One estimate is that it would require hundred-car-long trains and 15,000 trucks operating around the clock to get the oil where it needs to be. Those trains and trucks could be transporting agriculture or other goods—and currently are. The shortage will hurt farmers bringing their goods to market and raise food prices. States will also face hundreds of millions of dollars in potential property tax losses. The States raise serious concerns about federalism and their limited ability under federal law to protect themselves from the risk of more frequent spills by transportation via truck or train.

Iowa led the letter and was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Read the full letter here.

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For More Information:

Alyssa Brouillet | Communications Director

(515) 823-9112

alyssa.brouillet@ag.iowa.gov

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