By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory affairs & assistant general counsel, ARTBA
ARTBA and 21 other industry associations have expressed “deep concerns” over the Obama administration’s decision to “effectively ignore the rule of law” in halting development of the nearly $4 billion Dakota Access pipeline project.
The 1,172-mile pipeline routed from North Dakota oil fields to Illinois met all federal permitting requirements. Challenges made by project opponents were defeated Sept. 8 in a 58-page federal court decision. Since then, however, the Obama administration has blocked construction of the pipeline on a small stretch of federally-owned land.
In an Oct. 20 letter to U.S. Cabinet officials, ARTBA and its industry allies worry the government’s actions could have a chilling effect on the permitting process for future construction projects. “When your agencies upend or modify the results of a full and fair regulatory process for an infrastructure project, these actions do not merely impact a single company. The industries that manufacture and develop the infrastructure, the labor that builds it, and the American consumers that depend on it all suffer.”