A small victory has been won in the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, as the Army Corps of Engineers has said the construction of the pipeline must be halted until “further analysis” can be completed, and that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe must be consulted with regarding the final results of the analysis. The tribe is unlikely to sign off on any analysis which is compiled, implying that the pipeline’s progress may be halted indefinitely.
The shock announcement came when the Army Corps of Engineers wrote a letter in response to the request from the company in charge of the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, who requested an “easement”, which is a fancy word for permission, to drill underneath Lake Oahe. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe must be consulted with as a large portion of Lake Oahe is within the borders of the tribe’s reservation, to which they have property rights. The letter stated the pipeline’s construction will not continue “because the Army has not made a final decision on whether to grant an easement” and went on to say:
The Army is mindful of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s repeated dispossessions, including those to support water-resources projects. This history compels great caution and respect in considering the concerns that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has raised regarding the proposed crossing of Lake Oahe north of its reservation.
In response to the letter by the Army Corps of Engineers the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Dave Archambault II, said, “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country.”
For several months thousands of individuals have protested the pipeline’s construction, and the protests have been mostly ignored by the main stream media in favor of celebrity gossip and recommendations on which outfit to buy the family dog for the upcoming holiday season.
The pipeline was originally supposed to be built near residential areas, and after those residents raised concerns the construction plan was changed to infringe upon the land of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who say the pipeline also endangers their way of life, threatens the health of their water supply, and would desecrate historic burial sites.
The victory may find itself short lived once President-elect Donald Trump assumes power in January. While not specifically mentioning the Dakota Access Pipeline, Trump has spoken about his desire to resurrect the plan to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, based on the stipulation that the government receives a share of the profits. As the dollar rules Trump’s mind if he were able to strike a similar bargain with Energy Transfer Partners it is all but assured he would use the full power of his office to accommodate their requests.
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Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.