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Know the West

Hidden costs


Your article on the Dakota Access Pipeline was good as far as it went (“The twisted economics of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” HCN, 12/12/16). You omitted a very important issue that makes your assumptions incorrect. You are probably right in that there will be profit by someone from the pipeline installation. What you left out of your analysis was the fact that the oil is going to be shipped (moved) no matter what. You did not take into consideration the huge cost to the environment that will result from transporting this amount of oil by truck or train. You can start with emissions from the diesel engines that power the trucks and trains. You should include the high cost of maintaining the roads and rail that will handle this amount of tonnage transportation. Yes, this will create a lot of jobs for a lot of people: truck drivers, truck manufacturers, tire manufacturers, repair parts — not to mention the huge toll on the highways and the required manpower and material to keep those roads in good shape. A pipeline makes all that go away.

Darryl Sackmann
Caldwell, Idaho