DAPL Updates: Senators Press Corps of Engineers for Answers, Divestment Push Tops $5 Billion

Top democratic U.S. Senate leaders are pushing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for detailed information on the steps it took to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), what plans it has to provide clean drinking water in case of a pipeline rupture, and what steps it took to honor the treaty and trust obligations the government has to the Standing Rock Nation.

Thanks to the Lakota People’s Law Project for posting this information.

Senators Tom Carper (D., Delaware), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, and Maria Cantwell (D., Washington), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, have sent an oversight letter to the Army Corps of Engineers demanding documentation about its rushed DAPL approval, including all communications and contact with the Trump transition team and administration.

Here is a link to the April 3 letter. It asks the Corps to provide:

  • Documentation on what plans it has, if any, to provide clean drinking water to people in the event of a pipeline leak or rupture.
  • Call logs, emails, white papers and other communication between the Corps and the Trump transition team/administration regarding the DAPL approval, including whether or not the new administration reviewed the files and recommendations of the Obama administration.
  • Information on whether Energy Transfer Partners started drilling under Lake Oahe prior to getting legal approval.
  • The current status of the DAPL Environmental Impact Statement that was already in process prior to the Trump administration.

You get the idea. I thought one of the best questions the senators posed in the letter was the following:

Has the Corps made a determination that compliance with President Trump’s Executive Memoranda satisfies the federal government’s obligation to meet its trust and treaty obligations to affected tribal governments? If so, please provide documentation.


Go to the Lakota People’s Law Project site if you would like to send an email to the Corps supporting the senators’ request for information.

Divestment Update

Indian Country Media Network ran a story today where the headline pretty much says it all: DAPL Fallout Continues: Defund Movement Passes $5 Billion.

The movement to defund the Dakota Access Pipeline is rapidly gathering momentum, as individuals, cities and tribes have taken more than $5 billion from banks that have financed DAPL.

According to the website defunddapl.org, … individuals have taken away $76 million in deposits from DAPL banks while institutions have defunded those banks of more than $5.3 billion.

A recent email from the Sierra Club included the following action request:

… a group of Wells Fargo shareholders announced their intentions to introduce a resolution designed to protect Indigenous rights in the bank’s future investments. In response, the Wells Fargo board of directors shockingly said that the bank already supports Indigenous rights. But actions speak louder than words. In fact, they’ve doubled down on their fossil fuel investments by funding the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline too!

Take action: Tell Wells Fargo to divest from the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines:

An Op/Ed piece in the Guardian develops the divestment argument: We can resist the Dakota pipeline through a powerful tool: divestment.

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