Petroleum production has been a boon for both North Dakota and our nation. And for these benefits to continue, infrastructure is needed to transport our rich resources safely and efficiently.

The Dakota Access Pipeline would provide that service.

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But this project, which has been vetted and reviewed for more than two years by hundreds of landowners, four state governments and the federal government, now is being threatened by out-of-state extremists who do not represent the majority of North Dakotans.

What began as a protest has turned into senseless and violent attacks on private-property owners and on workers-most of whom are union members and law enforcement.

The extremists manipulate the people of North Dakota for one thing, and that is to shut down our state's energy industries entirely, effectively putting tens of thousands of people out of work and costing North Dakota taxpayers thousands of dollars.

Because most people are not duped by these extremists' agenda, these radicals must resort to the only method they know: violence and mayhem.

Rather than pursue lawful action, project opponents have taken matters into their own hands by committing acts of destruction, trespassing and defiance against lawful authorities. This is dangerous to themselves, the construction site crews, and the North Dakotans from throughout the region whose first responders have been taken from their duties to patrol this senseless theater production.

In North Dakota, we always have been able to sit down and work through concerns together, and that is what was done with this lawfully permitted project. We hope law and reason will prevail and construction on this vital infrastructure project may continue.

More important, we hope North Dakotans' tax dollars can once again go toward helping the people of this state rather than funding the radical agenda of hypocritical Hollywood actors and environmental extremists.

Jonathan Iblings

Ray, N.D.