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'If We Don't Lead This Fight, Who Will?' Tribal Leaders Demand Army Corps Stop Pipeline


'If We Don't Lead This Fight, Who Will?' Tribal Leaders Demand Army Corps Stop Pipeline

Nika Knight, staff writer

Tribal leaders, Indigenous people, and anti-pipeline activists rallied peacefully in Omaha, Nebraska on Thursday in front of the Army Corps of Engineers office and demanded that work on the Dakota Access Pipeline be stopped immediately.


International solidarity on NO DAPL - defenders of the sacred needed all over the world
Defend the Sacred: Making Indigenous Sacred Sites "No Go" Zones for Extractive Industries
"... The "fine print" to which Paty referred are resolutions adopted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. A coalition of indigenous sacred site guardians are currently advocating for one such resolution, known as Motion 26, which would help elevate "sacred natural sites" toward a protected area designation as "No Go" zones for extractive industries. Seen as the most controversial of the Congress' motions because it directly challenges corporate power, it is slated for debate tomorrow, Friday, September 9th. "...


One might drill down deeper into Army Corps of Engineers office - who were the players in that office that made the decision and what are there professional backgrounds and influences. Are they career professionals or part of the revolving door with industry?

It speaks volumes that the Army Corps approved the plan despite objections from other agencies. How do they justify that? Are they on the take?


Do you have any further information on this?



Thank you for providing all of the above!!


Do we know yet how the permitting process and the land grab allowing this pipeline to be built occurred and when?
How many more of these pipelines are in the process of being permitted and in which states?


There are no credible arguments for allowing these snakes of contamination to continue to slither through our country and poison precious water systems. Furthermore, the Army Corps if ethically managed, would not summarily reject several ecological concerns raised by other government agencies.
The 'ONLY' real chance we have to save ourselves from the corporate rapists - is by large groups united in cause, consistent and vocal in message against these absurd, ruinous endeavors.


Unfortunately, while the Tribes try every regulatory angle and technically to try to stop this pipeline, the environmental impacts of any statistically rare pipeline rupture are tiny and temporary compared to the impacts of using the oil for its intended purpose, So, the one genuinely indisputable argument is this:

  1. The oil must be kept in the ground, and with it, oil and fossil fuel prices prices must go way up worldwide if we are to survive.

  2. While, at the same time the higher prices must not be allowed to cause a bonanza of drilling and pipeline building.

And, unfortunately, the legal tools to do this are nowhere on the horizon - and the hope of any such tools in the USA, while dismal in the best US political conditions, will be utterly hopeless if Trump is elected. It will be drill baby drill and any pipeline protests like these will be met with deadly force.


I once worked for a COE District Office. The COE's role in issuing the various wetland and waterway crossing permits (Section 404 and if the waterway is navigable, Section 6) is entirely a paperwork-filling one. The actual go-no-go decision for the 404 permit comes from the State's DEP agency or the Federal EPA in the form of a "water quality certification" which is given to the COE then the COE issues the permit.

Unfortunately, the pipeline is probably in full compliance with the CWA - they build "mitigatory wetlands" if necessary - and so the COE permits have to be issued.

Of course, the pipeline is a also part of the energy infrastructure like electric transmission lines are so there are also FERC and state PUC agencies issuing permits too.

I don't know too much about the federal or state laws regarding archeological/cultural historical resources except that such laws do not stop a project they only require that archeoplgical/historical surveys and if the survey shows resources, archeological digs and collection of potentially impacted artifacts. Even old cemeteries are not show-stoppers for large projects like dams and big reservoirs - they relocate the graves.

If the pipeline crossed sovereign tribal land it could be stopped - but I presume they carefully routed the pipeline to avoid reservations.

Unfortunately, we are a nation of laws, and there are no laws available to stop the pipeline for the real reasons it should be stopped - keeping fossil fuel in the ground. We badly need such laws.


Actually, the law is there. Section 106 of the National Historical Preservation Act deals separately with Indian burial and cultural sites - it does not function the same as with other historical sites. Judge Boasberg said he will rule on the section 106 issues today. I have my fingers crossed.


Given that the Dakota Access people largely got away with their sneeky Labor Day weekend bulldozing and dog attacks on the protesters, I think you're probably going to see another weekend (maybe Columbus Day?) attack that ends with the ND National Guard mass arresting and bulldozing the protester's encampment, and the final bulldozing of the pipeline RoW before anything can be done about it. The corporate goons are ruthless, and will get their way. Only money talks when it comes to Native American rights. It always has.


Thanks for the correction - I was not familiar with that law. But yes, come to think of it designated historical structures or sites cannot be damaged or demolished. In my city, RE developers and even the Catholic Diocese go into a tizzy when the city designates an old building, frequently a church, as historical usually they find a way around it because the old churches usually eventually get torn down.

But I find these tactics to stop the pipeline of dubious effectiveness - they will simply move the pipeline route a bit and resume building.


True - the goal of protecting Indian cultural and burial sites and the drinking water of the tribes is different from the issue of stopping the pipeline. Right now, they happen to be compatible goals - but I am way more hopeful for achieving the former than the latter.


"President Obama could step in any time and say "no" to this whole thing -- like he did for Keystone XL."

Proof (as if we need more!) that there is no such thing as "holding Obama's feet to the fire" as he---like HRC are beholden to the oligarchy.

This from 350.org:


Over the weekend, peaceful protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline were met with guard dogs and pepper spray while defending sacred burial grounds from bulldozers. This is shocking and saddening, but it's also a wake up call.

If built, Dakota Access would carry toxic fracked oil from North Dakota across four states and under the Missouri River, immediately upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. That makes it a threat to the sacred land and water of Native communities and a disaster for the climate.

Tribal leaders are taking the Army Corps of Engineers to court over the unjust pipeline approval process, but President Obama could step in any time and say "no" to this whole thing -- like he did for Keystone XL.

Tell President Obama to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. Sign the petition today.

For months, thousands of Indigenous activists have set up resistance camps along the pipeline route in a historic moment of nonviolent resistance. We know that to defeat a pipeline, it takes a movement of people from all corners of the nation.

It’s Keystone XL all over again. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is rushing to approve this dirty oil pipeline that would stretch over 1,100 miles. And the construction continues, despite the irreparable damage the pipeline would cause to our climate, culture, and communities.

Can you sign our petition telling President Obama to join the tribal nations and say no to the Dakota Access Pipeline?

Building pipelines used to be easy for the fossil fuel industry. Thanks to years of work by the climate movement, they now face opposition everywhere they turn.

Let’s show them what we’re made of -- and help defeat Dakota Access for good.


Sara for 350.org team


The North Dakota Governor has called out the National Guard to enforce this puerile, egregious, atrocity. What does that tell you? It tells me that we could be looking at another Kent State massacre. I guess vicious dogs and pepper spray were not enough of a deterrent as the obstreperous, Lakota Sioux refuse to stop their protection of Mother Earth. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but having these mostly kids with guns in such a volatile situation looks dangerous to me.


To paraphrase Dim Son: You are either with the terrorists; are you are with us.... the fascists!


On the take? Certainly!!!


I used to do NEPA cultural resources and NAGPRA compliance work albeit 20 years ago. I know the laws and compliance process have weakened since then, but I am highly surprised that what appears to be a fast track process was used for a project that is so long and multi-state. As I understand the tribe whose land the pipeline comes close to were not even consulted. That makes no sense. I am not sure what is required these days of compliance across private lands but even there there used to be monitoring of construction and reporting of discoveries such as burials like the ones bulldozed on Sat had to be done and further compliance work was required.

We have the law suit in Iowa as well regarding use of eminent domain by the corporation to confiscate land for the path of pipeline. That remains to be resolved.

I am afraid that I agree with you that there are no legal mechanisms to stop the pipeline, only mitigation that slows it down or causes it to be moved slightly to avoid. Our legal-regulatory structure needs an overhaul.

The tribes should dust off the old treaties and take the US to court for the hundreds of times the United States has broken them, stolen land, and actively worked to destroy Native American culture and life. Just finishing reading :"An Indigenous history of the United States" by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz. It needs to be international court though, because the US court won't give them justice.