By: Zack Duvall
With the Dallas-based company behind the now infamous Dakota pipeline ready to begin shipping oil through the more than 1,000 mile long line as early as next week, North Dakota officials and taxpayers stand to gain substantial revenue during a time where the state is struggling to pay for state programs amidst decreasing tax revenue.
Early estimates from industry analysts say that, even leaving out the more than $10 million annually the state will receive through property taxes related to the project alone, potential earnings for the state could easily top $100 million.
The state will make this money off of a tax that is going to be levied on every barrel of oil that is shipped through the pipeline, and with a pipeline valued at roughly $3.8 billion the money could add up quickly for the state.
With the prospect of such an earlier than expected start to a revenue stream that many in the state’s government have long been waiting for, the state’s budget Director Pam Sharp said in a statement that North Dakota’s state budget analysts will release a new revenue projection report that will take into account the new tax income the state anticipates making.
“This is just one benefit a state gets if it is able to make these pipelines work. It’s a cherry on top economically, for something that gets Americans and businesses reliable, safe sources of energy.” Nick Loris, a research fellow in the field of energy and environment policy at The Heritage Foundation, said in a statement of support for the pipeline project and the potential economic impact it could have for the state.
However, opponents to the project, such as former Democratic Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, cite the potential environmental problems that could arise as a result of the pipeline’s operation. Kucinich, a regular contributor on the Fox news Channel, took to the Channel’s morning programs this week to condemn the pipeline.
‘North Dakota and other state’s may soon discover that the temporary financial benefits of pipeline revenue will be far out-weighed by the almost incalculable environmental damage which the pipelines bring, including the potential contamination of drinking supplies.”
But with construction all but complete, and oil set to begin flowing within the month, it appears to be a chance the state isn’t backing down from taking.