The economics of Dakota pipeline make perfect sense
Jonathan Thompson’s article spends a full page of the Perspective section to come to the surprise (not) conclusion that Energy Transfer Partners is building the Dakota Access Pipeline project to operate it at low cost, make a profit and quickly repay the investment. These are the reasons private industry builds projects such as power plants, power lines, pipelines and factories. As harsh as it may sound, private industry doesn’t build projects to pay taxes, employ more people or spend more money. Any company that doesn’t focus on profitability will go out of business. But ETP does not build projects in a vacuum. Private parties, cities, counties, states and the federal government are all involved in the right-of-way, design, safety and operation of the pipeline.
I think The Denver Post would have served readers better by limiting Thompson to half of the space he was allocated. An engineer, economist or business person could have discussed the Dakota Access Pipeline project in the context of the free market.