Even as clean-up crews were searching for bodies (I am not making this up) and beginning removal of the estimated 250 dump-truck-loads of garbage the environmentally concerned protesters left behind, the US Army Corps of Engineers approved the permit for construction to begin on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
The Army approved the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Tuesday, paving the way for an infrastructure project that has been surrounded by protest and controversy.
Robert Speer, the acting secretary of the Army, announced the decision to Congress, saying he was ready to offer the pipeline’s owner a 30-year easement on a disputed patch of land.
The move drew outrage from opponents, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation in North Dakota sits less than a mile from the proposed pipeline route. And it drew cheers from supporters, who said the planning process for the completion of the $3.7 billion project had already lasted too long.
The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, Dave Archambault II, responded to the decision by vowing to fight it in court. “As native peoples, we have been knocked down again,” he said in statement. “But we will get back up, we will rise above the greed and corruption that has plagued our peoples since first contact.”
The pipeline is set to run under the Missouri River near the reservation. It is opposed by many members of the tribe. Construction of the route has become a global rallying point for environmental and tribal activism, drawing thousands of people to a sprawling protest camp and sometimes prompting clashes with authorities.
They had objected to the pipeline’s path running so close to the source of the tribe’s drinking water, noting that any spill could poison water supplies for it and others downstream. Members of the tribe also said the pipeline would cross through sacred ancestral lands.
I’ll be among the first to admit that American Indians have really been porked in their dealings with the US government. We lacked the guts to undertake an active program of assimilation and the courage to let their sovereign status be more than a fiction and a source of conflict. We have created perpetual poverty by reducing sentient adults to the status of wards. Government corruption, inefficiency and epic stupidity have deprived American Indians of the ability to actually earn a living from their land. Having said that, this bunch really makes me sick. The proposed DAPL is much safer than the OTHER EIGHT PIPELINES that cross the same lake:
And what is this “sacred lands” bullsh**? Is there a square millimeter on or near any Indian reservation that isn’t holy, sacred, or some combination thereof? And why didn’t the sacred nature of the land impede these people from creating Mount Trashmore at their campsite? Give the ethnic outrage a rest, Chief.
There will probably be a court challenge to this decision but it looks like the DAPL might actually get built in our lifetime.