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    The Dakota Access Pipeline, a 450,000 barrels-per-day pipeline now under construction, will stretch from the Bakken to Illinois daily and will be a large benefit to North Dakota’s economy, its workers, and its taxpayers.

    The pipeline will become one of the state’s major taxpayers. It will pay more than $13 million in property taxes annually, lowering the burden on property owners across its route, $1.7 million in local sales taxes, giving a one-time boost to many local project, and the pipeline project will pay $32.9 million in sales taxes this year. That means Dakota Access is an important source of funds for the state during its budget crunch.

    Dakota Access is a boon to workers and small towns too. More than 4,000 workers are needed to complete the North Dakota segment of the pipeline with more than 50 percent of them from the state. They will bring business to the small town stores, restaurants, and hotels along the route.

    But the long-term benefit is far more. Dakota Access will reduce the cost to transport oil from the Bakken by several dollars per barrel, making the Bakken a cheaper place to produce oil and more competitive during low price cycles. That will help protect and grow the tens of thousands of jobs and small businesses working in the Bakken for decades to come.

    There is no doubt that pipelines are the safest mode of transporting the raw petroleum products we use for almost everything in life. Oil and gas heats our homes, fuels our vehicles, and is a component of almost every product made. Pipelines are the cheapest method to move product and lower the costs of everything in life.

    Dakota Access makes all these things happen.

    Wyatt Black, Bismarck ND