Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline Approved
by Stephen Lendman
On Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers filed court documents, saying it intends granting easement for completion of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
It’s been contested for months by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and supporters. The project’s final leg to be constructed under Lake Oahe endangers sacred ancestral land, water and wildlife habitat, along with communities, farmland and other sensitive areas.
Oil and gas pipelines constitute huge environmental hazards. They’re leak-prone, contaminating land and waterways, endangering human health, welfare and lives.
At best, they create temporary jobs. Once construction is completed, they’re gone. These projects have a chilling effect on green investments and long-lasting jobs.
Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica minced no words, saying “Trump’s reversal of the previous commitment to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement on the Dakota Access Pipeline is as sickening as it is predictable.”
“The Standing Rock Sioux and Indigenous American peoples who have fought for their sacred tribal land and water rights deserve human dignity and a healthy future.”
“We stand behind them in the #NoDAPL fight and will put financial pressure on the banks financing this destructive pipeline project. The people’s resistance to keep fossil fuels in the ground will not disappear.”
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune was just as blunt, saying “(b)y putting corporate polluter profits above the people's well-being, future, and access to clean, safe drinking water, Donald Trump is once again showing where his priorities lie.”
He promised continued fierce resistance nationwide, including in court. In a February 7 press release, Acting Army Secretary Robert Speer said the Corp of Engineers announcement and court filing constitute “the final step, which is granting of the easement. Once that it done, we will have completed all the tasks in the Presidential Memorandum of January 24, 2017.”
Standing Rock Tribe members said they’ll challenge the easement in court.
According to their attorney Jan Hasselman, “(t)he Obama administration correctly found that the Tribe’s treaty rights needed to be acknowledged and protected, and that the easement should not be granted without further review and consideration of alternative crossing locations.”
“Trump’s reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian Tribes and unlawful violation of Treaty rights. They will be held accountable in court.”
Centuries of injustice against Native Americans suggest this struggle won’t end well. It won’t deter heroic efforts contesting for justice nearly always denied.
On Wednesday in cities nationwide, protesters participated in “last stand” rallies, more of the same likely ahead.
On March 10, a Native American march is scheduled in Washington. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II asked “allies (to) join us in demanding that Congress demand a fair and accurate process.”
“Our fight is no longer at the North Dakota site itself. Our fight is with Congress and the Trump administration. Meet us in Washington on March 10.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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