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Administration on Dakota Access - Short-Sighted, Gutless, and Irresponsible Decision that Prolongs Conflict and Threatens All Infrastructure Development

Washington, D.C. (December 4, 2016) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on the Administration’s decision to mandate further review and a re-route of the Dakota Access Pipeline:

Blocking the final portion of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline after it is 93 percent complete and fully reviewed is a short-sighted, gutless, and irresponsible decision. It only serves to prolong the conflict that is dividing communities in North Dakota and will most certainly be overturned either by the Courts or President-Elect Donald Trump who has already made it clear that he intends to allow the project to move forward.

The facts are the facts. The fact that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had opportunity after opportunity to weigh in on the process during the last two years and only recently after the pipeline was almost complete decided to engage, should not be disregarded. There are already fourteen pipelines going under the Missouri River. This pipeline will be safely constructed to bring energy where it’s needed - without exposing communities to the unnecessary risk caused by transporting fuel by rail or truck.

Both the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia have confirmed that the project was lawfully reviewed and community input was adequately considered. The Administration’s decision to step in and ignore all of this invites more chaos and sets a dangerous precedent that threatens every type of future development and infrastructure investment.

This President is appeasing environmental extremists at the expense of sound energy policy.

More than 4,500 skilled union building trades members, including 1,100 LIUNA members building the Dakota Access Pipeline are proud to be building one of the most advanced and state-of-the-art pipelines in the country. LIUNA will continue to advocate for Dakota Access and the many thousands of LIUNA members who rallied and testified during the review process are ready to continue their efforts until the Dakota Access project is allowed to be completed.

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The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the energy and construction industries, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.