Indigenous peoples win a reprieve, and, no matter what comes later, a solid victory

“The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.”

November 14, 2016 Moira Kelley (DOA) 703-614-3992,
Jessica Kershaw (DOI),

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.

The Army invites the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to engage in discussion regarding potential conditions on an easement for the pipeline crossing that would reduce the risk of a spill or rupture, hasten detection and response to any possible spill, or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies. The Army invites discussion of the risk of a spill in light of such conditions, and whether to grant an easement for the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe at the proposed location. The Army continues to welcome any input that the Tribe believes is relevant to the proposed pipeline crossing or the granting of an easement.

While these discussions are ongoing, construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur because the Army has not made a final decision on whether to grant an easement. The Army will work with the Tribe on a timeline that allows for robust discussion and analysis to be completed expeditiously.

We fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely, and urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence.

Official statement.

Army POC: Moira Kelley (703) 614-3992,
The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today.

Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Her office had announced on November 14, 2016 that it was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing. Tribal officials have expressed repeated concerns over the risk that a pipeline rupture or spill could pose to its water supply and treaty rights.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is an approximately 1,172 mile pipeline that would connect the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to an existing crude oil terminal near Pakota, Illinois. The pipeline is 30 inches in diameter and is projected to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of oil per day, with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels. The current proposed pipeline route would cross Lake Oahe, an Army Corps of Engineers project on the Missouri River.

More news from NBC Boston.

The original letter from the Army Corp of Engineers to the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

2016 environmental impact statement.

Statement from Attorney General Loretta Lynch:

A little history, from The Daily Show:

I love the rhetorical question, “What are we gonna do, just not use oil?”, from Trevor Noah.

Update, 2016-12-06

Energy Transfer Partners is the company that is building the Dakota Access Pipeline. Their reaction in part reads:

For Energy Transfer Partners, which says the 1,170-mile pipeline is 92 percent complete, the move smacked of politics. In a statement Sunday night, the company said the “further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.”

The “rule of law.” What law? A law that has bought and sold jurists to decide against indigenous peoples of North American for two centuries? A law that has enabled stripping of forests and justified destruction of animals, of habitats, of systems upon which we, collectively and ultimately, depend? What constituency? One that is hurling itself headlong off a cliff, so it can get to work five minutes faster, to earn money to Buy More Junk in a season rationalized by appeal to a mere story about a deity who justifies that constituencies’ mistreatment of other peoples and the land and of Nature because, well, the deity wouldn’t come here otherwise, would he?

Extreme? Energy companies who haphazardly subject their employees and their families to cancer? And to dangers of mine collapse? And risks of explosion? Who put delivery of energy above life? Energy forms we don’t even need?

Am I angry?

You bet.

And I will delight in the day when the enablers, the stockholders of these companies lose their shirts when their assets are stranded because they’ve been beaten by technology in the open market. That will happen, no matter what party is in control or who is in the White House. (It may not happen fast enough to save our grandchildren, but, hey, a big chunk of the American public has shown they don’t give a flea’s ass care about that.) And the leaders of these companies? They’ll go off to some off-the-Florida coast island and live out their days on the legal profits of their scam, at the stockholders’ expense. Do I care? No. The stockholders deserve every moment of fear and discomfort.

About ecoquant

See Retired data scientist and statistician. Now working projects in quantitative ecology and, specifically, phenology of Bryophyta and technical methods for their study.
This entry was posted in American Petroleum Institute, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, BNEF, bridge to nowhere, Buckminster Fuller, ecological services, ecology, Ecology Action, Equiterre, ethics, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuel infrastructure, fossil fuels, greenhouse gases, indigenous peoples, land use to fight, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, Our Children's Trust, pipelines. Bookmark the permalink.

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