The company behind the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, which would extend across 1,168 miles and four US states, has stated it plans to move forward with the project. This announcement comes on the heels of worldwide protests and after the US government stepped in to temporarily block construction on federal land. Some protestors, who locked themselves to construction machinery, were arrested on Tuesday after causing construction to grind to a halt.
Last Friday, a federal judge rejected an attempt by Standing Rock Sioux tribal leaders to halt the pipeline’s construction, only to have the US government block the undertaking moments later. This has not shaken Energy Transfer, the company behind the pipeline, whose chief executive Kelcy Warren told The Guardian, “We intend to meet with officials in Washington to understand their position and reiterate our commitment to bring the Dakota Access Pipeline into operation.”
The claims that “tremendous safety factors” are in place to prevent any potential leaks and damage to the environment or local water supplies are not swaying protesters, who have assembled in the US, Europe, Japan, and New Zealand in opposition of the project. According to Red Warrior Camp,
while construction has been halted in the 40 miles surrounding Lake Oahe, it continues unimpeded elsewhere along the pipeline pathway. On Tuesday, protestors locked themselves to construction equipment, resulting in law enforcement arriving with rifles and riot gear and 20 “water protectors” being arrested.
“It is unfortunate that the corporate world chooses to ignore the millions of people and hundreds of tribal nations who stand in opposition to the destruction of our lands, resources, waters, and sacred sites,” expressed Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. “Our fight isn’t over until there is permanent protection of our people and resources from the pipeline.”