United States veterans vow to block Dakota Access pipeline construction

Lucy Hill
February 3, 2017

The pipeline has been the target of months of protests. That's the part that goes under the Missouri River upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

Morton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Rob Keller said the latest arrests were made after demonstrators moved from their existing camp on flood-prone ground to land owned by the pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer, the project has finally received the necessary easement from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Hoeven said he spoke on Tuesday with Vice President Mike Pence and Speer about the easement.

The incident comes one week after President Donald Trump's orders to revive the $3.8 billion project.

Last week, Trump signed executive actions to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, signaling that his administration is firmly committed to pursuing energy independence and deepening America's reliance on fossil fuels.

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), meant to carry crude oil from the Bakken shale fields to IL, has been almost completed aside from a segment running under Lake Oahe, which supplies drinking water to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.

A final easement is required for Dakota Access to cross beneath Lake Oahe.

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"Your memorandum issues these directives with the condition that these actions are carried out 'to the extent permitted by law, '" Archambault said.

Hoeven said they are also working with the Corps, the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior and the Department of Homeland Security to secure additional federal law enforcement resources to support state and local law enforcement.

For nine months, thousands of activists have come to "stand with Standing Rock", camping out near the pipeline and protesting in the face of tear gas, rubber bullets, "sound cannons" and water hoses in freezing temperatures.

In a statement to NBC News, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said granting an easement now would effectively "abandon the EIS" and would amount "to a wholly unexplained and arbitrary change based on the President's personal views".

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe see the pipeline as both an environmental and cultural threat to their homeland.

"Regardless of this incident it is our desire to continue the dialogue with tribal and camp leaders so that the camps continue to be cleaned and protesters leave prior to the flooding season", Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in a statement. Some in camp have vowed to remain to fight the pipeline they believe threatens the environment. The following day, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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