Big oil arrogance: DAPL refuses to shut down in spite of judge’s order, then backs off, and other news

As pipeline resisters were celebrating a U.S. District Court ruling requiring the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to shut down pending environmental reviews, DAPL’s operator seemed to thumb its nose at the ruling, suggesting it would refuse to comply.

Shortly after Energy Transfer LP’s corporate chest thumping, the company seemed to back off the threat, but it clearly seemed to want to send a message.

On other pipeline fronts, the Keystone XL pipeline faces a major setback, the Trans Mountain Pipeline loses an insurance provider, and in spite of a favorable U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline still will be scrapped. Continue reading

Leadership Battles Within DAPL Opposition Getting Ugly, Camp Life Takes its Toll

Perhaps it should come as a no surprise, but the divisions within the No DAPL movement are about more than strategy; they are about leadership and it seems to be getting ugly. That could undermine the movement’s effectiveness.

We wrote yesterday about some of the strategic divisions within the No DAPL movement. David Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, has asked people to decamp while the tribe pursues legal actions against DAPL in court. Others, including Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project, want to continue a physical presence near the construction site. (Iron Eyes was one of 76 people arrested earlier this week for trying to set up a new camp on private land. Archambault said the move undermined the tribe rather than empowering it.)

An opinion piece in Indian County Today provides more details on these internal divisions.

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Standing Rock to Challenge DAPL in Court Based on Water Rights; Trump Honors President Jackson, aka Indian Killer

sign-9-daplThe Standing Rock Nation will challenge the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in court  based in part on its federal water rights, according to Chairman David Archambault II. Archambault made his comments in an interview with MSNBC, posted online by Indian Country Today.

Archambault cited the “Winters Doctrine” as one reason that DAPL should be denied. According to a summary of the Winters Doctrine by the Congressional Resource Services:

Although the federal government has authority to regulate water, it typically defers to the states to allocate water resources within the state. The federal government maintains certain federal water rights, though, which exist separate from state law. In particular, federal reserved water rights often arise in questions of water allocation related to federal lands, including Indian reservations. Indian reserved water rights were first recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Winters v. United States in 1908. Under the Winters doctrine, when Congress reserves land (i.e., for an Indian reservation), Congress also reserves water sufficient to fulfill the purpose of the reservation.

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As DAPL Moves Forward, a Reflection on the Power of Words

Words matter.

The label “Sioux,” for instance, is a derogatory term meaning “snake” or “serpent,” derived from Anishinaabe and French words. (See this article in the Lakota Times.) Those in power were able to impose that term on Minnesota native peoples through treaties and reservation names. The term “Sioux” continues to be used for historical reasons, but it is not the preferred term for many.

The proper term for the people referred to as “Sioux” is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires, according to the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center. It refers to the people of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota nations.

Oceti Sakowin also is the name of the main camp of Water Protectors trying to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, an effort that has brought native people together from across the country. Continue reading

Nov. 15: Day of Action at St. Paul Army Corps of Engineers; UN Expert Issues First-Hand Report on DAPL

sign-3Indigenous leaders are calling on us to take to the streets and disrupt “business-as-usual” and demand that President Obama’s Army Corps of Engineers and the incoming administration stop the Dakota Access Pipeline — and all those after it.

On Tuesday, November 15th, join a massive day of action in solidarity with those at Standing Rock, and demand the Federal government and the Army Corps reject this pipeline.

Details: Tuesday, Nov. 15 at noon at the Army Corps of Engineers Centre, 180 5th Street East, St. Paul. Event page here.

(The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a key decision maker in issuing permits to allow DAPL to drill under the Missouri River.)

As a reminder to allies, several faith communities have taken a position supporting the Standing Rock Nation and others opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Here are the statements from the:

If you are a member of one of these communities, please consider attending this event. (If you are not a member of one of these communities, please consider attending.)

Those sponsoring this event include: Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN); Honor the Earth; 350.org; Native Organizers Alliance; National Nurses United; Greenpeace USA; Food and Water Watch; Daily Kos; Natural Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth.

Remember, too, that tomorrow (Saturday) several fundraisers for the Water Protectors are being held along Franklin Avenue.

For information on a recently released United Nations report on the situation near Standing Rock, keep reading. Continue reading

Time to Amp Up Pressure on the Army Corps of Engineers to Stop DAPL

sign-2With the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) just days away from arriving at the Missouri River near Standing Rock, now is the time to increase public pressure on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

DAPL needs the Corps to issue an easement and a permit to bore under the Missouri River. Instead, the Corps should require more detailed environmental and cultural reviews of DAPL — which it should have done earlier.

In yesterday’s blog, we wrote about the importance of delaying DAPL construction to drive up costs. Today, we outline several key arguments for why more review is needed.

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#No DAPL Updates: Religious Communities Respond; A History of Pipeline Spills; Map of Rejected DAPL Route, and More

This blog offers a map of the current and rejected Dakota Access pipeline routes, and an article with a map of pipeline spills. It updates actions by Christian religious leaders who went to North Dakota to support the Standing Rock Nation in its opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Read on. Continue reading

Guidelines for Visiting Standing Rock; Comparing DAPL Protests with Malheur Refuge Standoff; Local Sheriffs Defend Actions; and Pressing Obama for Support

Roads are roughed out and people find a place to put up their tents.
The Oceti Sakowin (main) camp near Standing Rock.

Many people are interested in traveling to North Dakota to show their support for the Standing Rock Nation and its efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. However, some are unsure how to participate in a good and helpful way.

A group called Solidariteam developed the following resources that discuss everything from current camp needs to the importance of following Indigenous leadership there. They also talk about how to bring what you learn at the camp back to your own communities. Please share.

Questions? See the Standing Rock Solidarity Training on FB or email raffo95@gmail.com.

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Standing Rock Sioux Have Every Right to Worry About their Water

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Sign at the Water Protectors Camp near Cannon Ball, ND

People living on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation have something in common with people living in Bismarck, North Dakota’s Capital City: None of them apparently want a crude oil pipeline running near their water source.

As noted in the Bismarck Tribune: “An early proposal for the Dakota Access Pipeline called for the project to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck, but one reason that route was rejected was its potential threat to Bismarck’s water supply…” So if it is too dangerous for the Capital City, why would it be any safer, or more acceptable, near the Standing Rock Reservation?

Then of course there is the history of an increasing number of oil pipeline spills. Continue reading