The Sept. 8 front-page article “Tribes sense a reawakening in fight over pipeline” dealt with an important issue and focused on arguments presented by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.
There is, however, another side: Energy security is increasingly critical to the United States. Without projects such as Dakota Access, we lack the means to safely and efficiently transport oil and petroleum products to energy consumers in the rest of the country. Road and rail transport alternatives lack the efficiency and environmental safety associated with pipelines.
Dakota Access would help ensure affordable access to oil for U.S. industry and private consumers. Underground pipelines are by far the safest way to do so. Finding a solution that addresses legitimate concerns of Native Americans while enhancing U.S. energy security needs to be the focus.
Richard D. Kauzlarich, Falls Church
As an employee of the White House, Office of Management and Budget, Federal Energy Administration and an international oil and gas company (Unocal), I participated on both sides of energy regulatory proceedings. I still closely follow energy industry and policy developments. The front-page article about the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline reminded me of the long, detailed state and federal processes for projects like Dakota Access — and how those processes are being portrayed as a “movement” by hangers-on and protesters.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and supporters say they are getting “a raw deal at the hands of commercial interests and the U.S. government.” That’s not the case. I would argue that Dakota Access permits were granted lawfully, after studies, public hearings and detailed examinations of the project. The Army Corps of Engineers met hundreds of times with Native American tribes, archaeologists and historical experts to ensure that no part of the process or any sacred grounds would be harmed by construction or operations.
U.S. regulatory procedures are exceedingly thorough. Dakota Access followed the processes to the nth degree; the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe did not. The tribe and its limousine-activist supporters are seeking to overturn legal regulatory processes with exhibitions and growing violence. It’s an old script that must be rejected.
John L. Rafuse, Alexandria