In a story with the headline: Federal government blocks Dakota Access oil pipeline route, the Star Tribune reports the following:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten a water source and cultural sites.
North Dakota’s leaders criticized the decision, with Gov. Jack Dalrymple calling it a “serious mistake” that “prolongs the dangerous situation” …
The announcement came the same day as the group Veterans Stand for Standing Rock arrived at the Oceti Sakowin camp to provide some relief for the Water Protectors. According to the story, elders have asked the veterans not to do direct action. There appear to be efforts on both sides to deescalate the currently tense situation.
Today also was a day of an interfaith gathering in support of Standing Rock.
The Star Tribune story said on Monday, “some veterans will take part in a prayer ceremony in which they’ll apologize for historical detrimental conduct by the military toward Native Americans and ask for forgiveness.”
The Standing Rock Nation issued a statement in response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement. It said in part:
“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.
Here is a link to the full statement from the Army Corps of Engineers. In it, Jo-Ellen Darcy, Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing.
Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is an approximately 1,172 mile pipeline that would connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to an existing crude oil terminal near Pakota, Illinois.
Also, here is a YouTube Video released Friday by the U.S. Justice Department of Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch speaking on the Dakota Access Pipeline. In it, she says in part:
We continue to support the protestors’ constitution right to free speech and we expect everyone involved to exercise restraint, to refrain from violence, and to express their views peacefully. Let me stress that violence is never the answer. …