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Dec 05 2016

Standing Rock: Who Said Protests Don’t Work?

The US Army Corps of Engineers denied the final easement the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that would have allowed Energy Transfer Partners to drill under the Missouri River endangering the water and desecrating Native American burial grounds.

The Army Corps of Engineers will not grant the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to drill under the Missouri river, the army announced on Sunday, handing a major victory to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe after a months-long campaign against the pipeline.

Assistant secretary for civil works Jo-Ellen Darcy announced the decision on Sunday, with the army saying it was based on “a need to explore alternate routes” for the crossing.

“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 in a statement. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

The army corps will undertake an environmental impact statement and look for alternative routes, the tribe said in its own announcement.

“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama administration for this historic decision,” tribal chairman Dave Archambault said in a statement.

Is this over? Not quite. As of this morning, the project developers, Energy Transfer Partners LP and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, have said that they are committed to building the pipeline without rerouting and called on the incoming Trump administration to overturn the action they consider “purely political.”

The denial of the permit was a major battle in the war to protect the water supply and the rights of indigenous people. Now, there are more battles to come.