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Robin Rorick press call on the latest Dakota Access Pipeline court developments




As prepared for delivery

Latest court developments and the rule of law with the Dakota Access Pipeline
Robin Rorick, API Midstream Group Director

Good Morning,

Thank you for joining today’s call.

It’s becoming more widely known that the United States is leading the world in the production of oil and natural gas. And what is quite remarkable is that while production of oil and gas has increased, carbon emissions have declined. In fact, carbon emissions today are near 20-year lows thanks to clean-burning natural gas.  Manufacturing costs are also down, and American drivers saved $550 at the pump last year because of increased energy production.

Building on America’s 21st century energy renaissance – and the consumer, manufacturing and climate benefits that go with it – requires 21st century energy infrastructure.

Expanding energy infrastructure, like pipelines, to keep pace with new production will not only keep energy moving safely, affordably and efficiently to homes and businesses that require it, it will also generate major job growth.

Development of new oil and gas infrastructure could generate an estimated $1.14 trillion in private capital investments over 10 years and support as many as 1.15 million jobs.  That’s significantly more than the transportation bill passed by Congress last year, which pledged $300 billion in taxpayer money for highway and bridge updates.

Shovel-ready pipeline projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline don’t rely on government dollars, and they are essential to accommodating our country’s demands for energy and creating jobs. Leaders of five labor unions highlighted the importance of infrastructure in supporting construction jobs this week, calling on President Obama to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline “without delay.”

Recent actions by the administration to ignore the rule of law and unilaterally halt the progress of the pipeline’s development are extremely troubling and a tangible example of politics superseding process. No legal justification for prohibiting this infrastructure project was provided, and it could have a chilling effect on similar construction projects. In addition, disregarding a successfully completed approval process and halting legal construction already in progress sets a dangerous precedent for other non-oil and gas projects like roads, bridges, tunnels and electricity transmission lines.

The process in place to develop infrastructure projects is a thorough one. In fact, the permitting process surrounding this particular pipeline was conducted in an open and transparent manner during which agencies reviewed and addressed every comment from numerous stakeholders. Even the Army Corps of Engineers underscored how participants in the permitting process were consulted on more than 250 occasions over a two-year period.

It is important to note that the court has also weighed in on the pipeline.  In September, a federal judge declined to stop its development, effectively affirming that the process had been followed and ruling that construction could proceed.  Today, the D.C. Circuit of Appeals heard oral arguments surrounding the ability of the vital pipeline project to move forward, and we look forward to seeing the court’s decision in the following weeks. Again, this is part of the process.

Expanding America’s energy transportation network is vital to delivering the economic and environmental benefits of the American energy renaissance to every state, and consumers agree. Eighty-two percent of American voters support increased energy infrastructure development. A careful, comprehensive review process has determined the Dakota Access Pipeline is safe, and an independent judge has affirmed this. As this next legal chapter comes to a close, it is imperative for this and other infrastructure projects that rule of law is followed. Building a 21st energy infrastructure system ensures that the US energy renaissance continues. We owe it to the people whose jobs depend on it and the consumers who benefit from it.

With that, let me once again thank you for participating in the call today, and I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.