DAPL Owners Seek Court Order to Drill Under the Missouri River; ND Maintains Highway Blockade Raising Safety Concerns; Toy Drive for Standing Rock Children

From protest for sending Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies to Standing Rock.
File photo: Protest for sending Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies to Standing Rock.

Energy Transfer Partners isn’t waiting for the Trump administration to green light the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), it is seeking a federal court ruling to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve it. Meanwhile, in blizzard conditions, the state of North Dakota is maintaining a blockade of the highway north of the Oceti Sakowin camp. This is endangering safety by making it more difficult for people to leave who want to leave.

A federal court hearing is scheduled for Friday morning to take up Energy Transfer Partners’ request to drill under the Missouri River to complete that section of DAPL, according to a story in Market Watch. (In spite of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision to deny the  easement, Energy Transfer Partners said it had done everything it was supposed to for the approval.) Even though President-elect Trump has expressed his support for DAPL, the company doesn’t want to wait for his inauguration. According to Market Watch:

Analysts say Energy Transfer Partners has two potential reasons to seek a faster resolution: It is losing millions of dollars due to delays, and a longer wait could scuttle a $2 billion deal to sell a stake in the pipeline.

This full court press is happening as severe winter weather has slammed the Oceti Sakowin camp near Cannon Ball, ND. As of 6 p.m. tonight, it was 3 degrees F with a wind of 25 mph. The low tomorrow is expected to be -15 F. Dave Archambeau II, chairman of the Standing Rock Nation, has encouraged people to leave, believing that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision to deny Energy Transfer Partners the needed easement would delay the project in the near term.

The Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council said in a statement that “Winter conditions are intense, but spirits at camp are high.” However, the Council criticizes the state of North Dakota for its continued blockade of Highway 1806 between Cannon Ball and Mandan.

Our medical and logistical volunteers are evacuating patients/campers to the hospital and warming spaces as needed and are stabilizing patients in the meantime, coordinating with the Standing Rock EMS. As of 2:00PM CST, there have been no confirmed deaths or any critical care patients. There have been two cases of moderate hypothermia for whom the medics on the ground provided care. The main impediment to health is not the winter, but the state. The police roadblock on ND HWY 1806 is delaying the timely evacuation of patients and vulnerable populations. We have developed the capacity to keep the campers safe and warm, but are asking the state of North Dakota to cease its inhumane and unjustifiable blockade of highway 1806.

(Thanks, Kendrick, for passing along this statement.)

Toy Drive for Standing Rock Children

The Clouds in Water Zen Center is coordinating a toy drive for the children at the Standing Rock Nation. It is one result of the Bearing Witness Retreat the Center sponsored Nov. 17-19, which bore witness to the Native American genocide in Minnesota and efforts towards healing. (Healing Minnesota Stories co-sponsored the event.)

The idea for a toy drive came out of conversations between Jim Bear Jacobs, Ursula, and Chas. Jim Bear, the founder of Healing Minnesota Stories, agreed to organize it.

The collection will last from now until Dec. 29. (Toys will be delivered both before and after Christmas, as they are collected).
Please bring only NEW toys, appropriate for ages 2 – 12 years old, to Clouds in Water Zen Center, 445 Farrington Street, St. Paul, MN  55103, during the following times:
  • 12/12 and 12/19: Mondays, between 9am and 4pm,
  • 12/14 and 12/21: Wednesdays, between 9am and 4 pm,
  • 12/11, 12,18, and 12/25: Sundays, either before our Sunday Service (between 8am and 9am) or after our Sunday Service (between 10:30 and 11:00),
If you need to drop off toys outside of these times, please email Terry Clements to make additional arrangements. Members and leaders of the Bearing Witness Retreat will be going to Standing Rock over the coming weeks and will take the toys as they arrive.
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