President Obama is raising the option of rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline away from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
Obama has been getting a lot of public pressure to take stronger action against the pipeline. A reroute might satisfy some, but probably wont satisfy those who oppose the pipeline because of the environmental damage it will create — no matter what path it takes.
Obama says that ” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is examining whether the four-state project can be rerouted in southern North Dakota to alleviate the concerns of American Indians,” according to an MPR report.
Obama told the online news outlet NowThis that his administration is monitoring the situation closely but will “let it play out for several more weeks.” …
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault welcomed Obama’s statement but said the administration and the Corps should go farther and stop work on the pipeline and do a full environmental impact study.
The Dakota Access Pipeline has generated significant conflict in North Dakota and nationally. The Standing Rock Sioux Nation opposes the pipeline because of the threat to water and sacred lands. Locally, the water protectors have met with disproportionate responses, both from private security guards using attack dogs and mace, and from heavily armed law enforcement officials. Nationally, both religious denominations and environmental groups are supporting Native-led efforts to stop the pipeline.
For instance, Director of Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign Lena Moffitt released the following statement in response to Obama’s comments:
“We were relieved by and applaud the actions taken by President Obama’s administration to temporarily block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and to look at routes that would avoid Tribal land, however, the fact remains that there is no acceptable route for this dirty and dangerous pipeline.
“The Sierra Club stands in solidarity of the Standing Rock Sioux, and continue our calls on President Obama to conduct a full environmental review and reject the Dakota Access Pipeline. In the meantime, the president should dispatch legal observers to ensure that the Water Protector’s rights remain protected from the militarized police actions witnessed over the past several weeks.”
National Day of Action on DAPL: Nov. 15
Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton has taken a position on the Dakota Access Pipeline, and pipeline opponents already are organizing for post-election advocacy.
An email from Dallas Goldtooth on behalf of the Indigenous Environmental Network and 350.org said the following:
Indigenous leaders are calling on us to take to the streets one week after the election to demand that President Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers and the incoming Administration put a stop to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We need to show President Obama and the new president-elect that this resistance movement will not fade away.
The Army Corps can approve or deny the final permit needed to complete construction — that’s why we must act now, and act strongly, to make sure the permit is rejected.
On Tuesday, November 15th, join a day of action across the country to demand that this Administration and the next reject this pipeline. Join an action near you – and if one doesn’t exist, organize an action in your community.
So far, their map does not show any Twin Cities-specific events, but we expect one will get organized. Keep checking the website. Here is one more petition, this one from 350.org, telling President Obama to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
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