Standing Rock, Indian Country, score big court victory against DAPL

From protest for sending Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies to Standing Rock.

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has to shut down by Aug. 5 and the pipeline emptied of oil until the project’s environmental impact statement is finished and treaty rights and other environmental challenges are resolved, according to a court ruling today. According to the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia:

Fearing severe environmental consequences, American Indian Tribes on nearby reservations have sought for several years to invalidate federal permits allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to carry oil under the lake [Lake Oahe]. Today they finally achieve that goal — at least for the time being.

Depending on the results of a pending environmental impact statement, DAPL could be forced to shut down permanently.

Energy Transfer, a leading partner in DAPL, criticized the ruling and vowed to challenge it. The company faces problems on second front, as oil firms are trying to back out of commitments they made to ship oil on a proposed DAPL expansion.

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Cheyenne River Nation to Keystone XL: ‘We Will Be Waiting’

The Cheyenne River Sioux Nation in South Dakota is apparently a people of few words.

Map of Keystone XL Pipeline. (Wikimedia Commons)

Cheyenne River received a letter from the TransCanada corporation on Wednesday, alerting it to upcoming work on Keystone XL, a tar sands crude oil pipeline that will run from Alberta, Canada to Texas, crossing South Dakota and other states along the way.

The letter included a disingenuous passage about how TransCanada cares about indigenous rights.

TransCanada recognizes Tribal Nations as rightsholders who have a distinct relationship with the land. We appreciate the concern that local Tribal Leadership and community members may have with the increased activities throughout Montana and South Dakota, and welcome the opportunity to discuss further. …

Harold C. Frazier, chairman of Cheyenne River, responded to TransCanada the next day with a letter of only four words:

We will be waiting.

Images of the correspondence follow.