Energy Transfer Partners Urging Workers to Defend Their Work on Dakota Access Pipeline


A trio of excavators move earth along the Dakota Access pipeline route east of Williston in late July. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Last week, despite a federal judge siding with the Dakota Access Pipeline on the legal merits, President Barack Obama blocked the pipeline on political grounds.

In response, the folks at Energy Transfer Partners (the company behind the pipeline) have begun urging their workers to contact their political representation urging support for the project. That communication came in an internal memo sent out to ETP employees this morning (and provided me by ETP spokeswoman Vicki Granado).

You can read the full memo below. Here’s an excerpt of the section where the company urges its workers to action:


The company also said that they plan to meet with federal officials in Washington D.C. to better understand President Barack Obama’s order for a work stoppage:


ETP urging its workers to engage on the project is significant. Not only would the response humanize the support for the pipeline – it’s easier for the public to be sympathetic to real workers than a faceless pipeline company – but it also clears the way for organized labor to engage on this issue.

Various unions have already been voicing their support for the pipeline, but they haven’t gotten a lot of media attention so far. That may change. Notably, in this national report from CBS over the weekend, LiUNA representative Steve Cortina says that Dakota Access workers have been fearful for their safety after what have at times been violent protests against the pipeline’s construction.

“We do have workers that fear for their lives,” he told the reporter. LiUNA is the Laborer’s International Union of North America, the union contracted to build the Dakota Access Line here in North Dakota.

Here’s the full memo:

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