Energy Transfer Partners may complete the Dakota Access Pipeline yet: they just have to get past thousands of U.S. military veterans first. Returning to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota days after President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order reinstating the contentious $3.8 billion project, Veterans Stand has vowed to stonewall the pipeline’s completion. “We are committed to the people of Standing Rock, we are committed to nonviolence, and we will do everything within our power to ensure that the environment and human life are respected,” Anthony Diggs, a spokesman for the group, told CNBC. “That pipeline will not get completed. Not on our watch.”
The group, which served as “human shields” for protestors at Oceti Sakowin camp, just south of Bismarck, in December, have raised over $75,000 since launching a GoFundMe campaign last week. Veterans Stand is looking to raise $500,000 to purchase supplies such as food, firewood, propane, and first-aid kits, as well as arrange car rides for volunteers to and from the camp.
Meanwhile, Standing Rock Sioux tribe has promised to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for moving forward with the construction of the pipeline under Lake Oahe without conducting the environmental-impact review it said it would conduct last month.
“The Army Corps lacks statutory authority to simply stop the [environmental-impact statement] and issue the easement,” the tribe said in a statement. “To abandon the [review] would amount to a wholly unexplained and arbitrary change based on the President’s personal views and, potentially, personal investments.”
Through at least mid-2016, Trump owned as much as $50,000 ETP stock through, according to financial disclosure forms. Although Trump said he has sold all of his stock, he has offered no evidence of his divestment.
Nearly 4,000 veterans descended on Standing Rock in December as protestors clashed with the Morton County Sheriff’s Department and the National Guard. Veterans Stand says it plans to mobilize thousands to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, environmentalists, and other demonstrators.
“We stand in unity with our brothers and sisters in Standing Rock (and beyond) and our community is ready to mobilize,” the organization said on its GoFundMe page.
Photo by Paul and Cathy/Flickr