Gov. Terry Branstad dismissed accusations Tuesday that Iowa’s approval of an interstate, crude-oil project is the result of political horse trading with the Texas oil industry.
The Dakota Access Pipeline’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, is based in Texas. Opponents of the pipeline allege Dakota Access was granted the use of eminent domain due to Branstad’s relationship with the Lone Star State's oil industry.
They point to a 2013 fundraising trip, when then-Texas Governor Rick Perry hosted a lunch in Houston for Branstad.
"Oh come on," says Branstad. "I raised a lot more money from Iowa farmers and ethanol producers, and people that are interested in wind energy and other things."
Branstad also told reporters that Big Oil hates him due to his advocacy of ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard. The governor boasted that he's pointed out "lies" told by Big Oil about the corn-based fuel.
Last week, 30 people were arrested in Boone County for protesting pipeline construction, which they say is harmful to Iowa agriculture and the environment.
The Dakota Access Pipeline route crosses 18 Iowa Counties. The pipeline is intended to eventually carry as much as 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day from North Dakota's Bakken and Three Forks oil fields to Patoka, IL.