On Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would no longer grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a temporary victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, veterans, and their supporters- worldwide- who had joined together to fight against the project that might threaten the tribe’s water source and cultural sites.
It was no surprise that North Dakota’s leaders criticized the decision or that Gov. Jack Dalrymple called it a “serious mistake” which “prolongs the dangerous situation” of having protesters camped out during the cold, wintry weather. (I wonder what he thinks when pipes burst and spill oil all over?) Kyle Kirchmeier, Morton County Sheriff, said that local law enforcement didn’t have an opinion and were merely there to enforce the law.
From the article:
“THE FOUR-STATE, $3.8 BILLION PROJECT IS LARGELY COMPLETE EXCEPT FOR THE NOW-BLOCKED SEGMENT UNDERNEATH LAKE OAHE, A MISSOURI RIVER RESERVOIR. ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR CIVIL WORKS JO-ELLEN DARCY SAID IN A NEWS RELEASE THAT HER DECISION WAS BASED ON THE NEED TO “EXPLORE ALTERNATE ROUTES” FOR THE PIPELINE’S CROSSING. HER FULL DECISION DOESN’T RULE OUT THAT IT COULD CROSS UNDER THE RESERVOIR OR NORTH OF BISMARCK.
“ALTHOUGH WE HAVE HAD CONTINUING DISCUSSION AND EXCHANGES OF NEW INFORMATION WITH THE STANDING ROCK SIOUX AND DAKOTA ACCESS, IT’S CLEAR THAT THERE’S MORE WORK TO DO,” DARCY SAID. “THE BEST WAY TO COMPLETE THAT WORK RESPONSIBLY AND EXPEDITIOUSLY IS TO EXPLORE ALTERNATE ROUTES FOR THE PIPELINE CROSSING.”
However, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners is unwilling to reroute the project. So, the fight is not yet over.
The decision yesterday came just in time too; Dec 5th is the government’s deadline for the people at the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires, encampment to leave the federal land. (Demonstrators say they weren’t going anywhere anyway and were prepared to stay.)
More from the article:
“AS THE NEWS SPREAD SUNDAY, CHEERS AND CHEERS AND CHANTS OF “MNI WICHONI” — “WATER IS LIFE” IN LAKOTA SIOUX — BROKE OUT AMONG THE PROTESTERS. SOME IN THE CROWD BANGED DRUMS. MILES ALLARD, A MEMBER OF THE STANDING ROCK SIOUX, SAID HE WAS PLEASED BUT REMAINED CAUTIOUS, SAYING, “WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TRUMP IS GOING TO DO.”
For now, the hundreds of veterans who have and are continuing to descend on the camp, will wait to see what happens. Organizer Wes Clark Jr. said, “We have been asked by the elders not to do direct action.” Even though the National Guard and law enforcement have armored vehicles and are armed, it isn’t for show- they are ready (and would probably love) a fight. So, he told the veterans serving there, “If you see someone who needs help, help them out.”
From the article:
“Steven Perry, a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran who’s a member of the Little Traverse Bay band of Odawa Indians in Michigan, spoke of one of the protesters’ main concerns: that the pipeline could pollute drinking water. “This is not just a native issue,” he said, “This is an issue for everyone.”
There is a prayer ceremony expected to take place today where veterans will apologize for historical detrimental conduct by the military toward Native Americans and ask for forgiveness, Clark said. We will continue to watch and update you.
Source: Fox Business