Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement
Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.
Keep in mind that this is a delay at best. They're going to "look at possible alternative routes." This isn't to diminish the victory of the incredibly brave and dedicated water protectors. They've done something we white people have failed to do time and time again. You know, when it wasn't an option to just move the pipeline onto Native American land.
What I'm saying is that we white people need to not forget about this. In a month and a half, Trump will be president and he could reverse the decision. Even if somehow that doesn't happen, the Army Corps could just go ahead and be like "nope there's no better place for this to go, keep building!" Then they complete the pipeline before the water protectors can get the rest of us to care about it again. And after everything, I'm extremely skeptical that even this will stop construction.
But according to Standing Rock leaders, this will at least be a delay of a couple months. Hopefully by the time they can get it going again, it will start to warm up and the risk of hypothermia will be lessened.
And as many people have already said, don't thank Obama, thank the water protectors and all the tribes that came together to stand up against a massive military force and giant construction machines, attack dogs, and the entire array of so-called "non-lethal" weapons typically used in military zones. What they did is amazing. I can't even imagine standing up to something like that. Thank you, water protectors, for all you've done for the area, the state, the nation, and possibly the entire world.