Ever since last spring, thousands of protesters flocked in droves to the Standing Rock site in North Dakota to stand with Native Americans in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Then, on December 4, they won their cause.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a plan for the pipeline to be re-routed, in order to avoid passing beneath Lake Oahe, which sits on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation.
Alternative routes are being considered for the 1,172-mile pipeline, which is designed to deliver 20 million gallons of oil across the Midwest every day.
The Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works stated:
“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.
The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
Tribal leaders are elated and relieved.
Over the past few months, they have repeatedly expressed safety concerns about the proposed crossing location, as Lake Oahe sits just a half mile from their reservation.
They feared any rupture or spill could irreparably damage their water supply and land.
Not only that, but the pipeline would disturb historic and sacred sites.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II stated:
“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.”
As for new pipeline plans, Darcy mentioned that they will likely utilize an Environmental Impact Statement with “full public input and analysis” to determine the most suitable alternatives.
In other words, the pipeline will still be built—it just but not cross through Standing Rock.
According to a U.S. Geological Survey, there are 7.4 billion barrels of “undiscovered, technically recoverable oil” at the beginning if the pipeline in North Dakota.
And the company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, stated that the pipeline will create up to 12,000 construction jobs.
It obvious that we’re nowhere near the end of this story since so much as at stake! What do you think?
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