On election day, Energy Transfer Partners surreptitiously announced plans to move forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline. While the world was distracted by Trump’s surprise victory, the company said they are “mobilizing horizontal drilling equipment” even though just about a week ago President Barack Obama said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was exploring a new route for the controversial pipeline.
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, their supporters, and their children have been protesting the oil pipeline for months, but Energy Transfer Partners appears to be deaf to their pleas. In defiance of President Obama’s remark that the government could “determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of the first Americans,” Energy Transfer Partners appears to be scorning the voices of those Americans to move forward with the pipeline.
Last September, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Army said pipeline construction would be halted, requesting Energy Transfer Partners to “voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.” But in their statement announcing the pipeline will move forward Energy Transfer Partners said, “Dakota Access previously received a permit from the army corps with respect to the tunneling activities under Lake Oahe, and Dakota Access has all other regulatory approvals and land rights to complete the crossing of the Missouri river at Lake Oahe.” The company said they’ll commence the final phase of the Dakota Access Pipeline in two weeks.
North Dakota regulators recently filed a complaint because the oil company behind Dakota Access didn’t disclose the presence of “Native American artifacts” in the pipeline’s path. According to The Guardian, a United Nations group is also looking into claims pipeline protesters are being inhumanely jailed and of other human rights abuses.
Protesters expressed dismay at the nefarious news from Energy Transfer Partners. Eryn Wise of the Laguna Pueblo and Jicarilla Apache tribes told The Guardian, “Are indigenous people so invaluable that now that Dakota Access is to the water, does it not matter to anyone that people are going to start laying down their lives? I think that people need to seriously question the integrity of the work produced by DAPL right now, because they’re rushing. Is it safe when they’ve been rushing like this?”
Cheryl Angel of the Sicangu Lakota tribe told The Guardian, “I’m in shock. I’m speechless. It’s unconscionable and devastating. It’s almost as though they have no soul.”
Via The Guardian