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Groups Hold Competing Rallies Over Pipelines

Business CEO Says Industry Getting A Bad Rap

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Twin Ports business groups gathered outside Duluth City Hall on Monday in opposition to the city council’s support for Standing Rock. They’re concerned that councilors are taking a stance against industry and thousands of workers in the region. Meanwhile, pipeline protesters gathered to defend the council’s resolution against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

United Piping President and CEO Bob Schoneberger organized the event, representing around 50 businesses serving the pipeline industry. Schoneberger fears the industry has been getting a bad rap.

“One of the things that our industry does that people don’t just realize is by providing transportation whether it be oil or natural gas or really any quality for that matter by pipeline,” he said. “It’s the cheapest mode of transportation by several orders of magnitude and it touches everybody in the country. And whether they want to admit it or not, we help get people to work every day. We help keep people warm in the winter time, and we put food on the table.”

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Schoneberger said people invest in this region because it is strategic for moving products like oil and natural gas.

“There is markets and industries that are between the sources of oils and natural gas and where they need to be, and we just happen to be on that path,” he said. “So it doesn’t make sense to go ahead around the world in the other direction to go from A to B when there is a better path.”

Schoneberger said they’re worried about the industry. He fears people are making decisions based on emotions instead of the facts. People also gathered at Duluth City Hall to show their support for city councilors in their opposition to construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. The event’s organizer could not be immediately be reached.

A Facebook post for the event hosted by environmental groups Northwoods 350 and Honor the Earth, reads, “It is imperitive in the age of climate change and rampant water polluting that we show our representatives that taking right actions to protect human rights, climate and water gets them strong support and gratitude so we are gathering at Duluth City Hall to do just that.”

The Standing Rock Sioux has said the pipeline threatens their water and cultural sites.

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