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Council of Canadians in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux tribe against pipeline

Twitter photo by George Bear Claw.

The Council of Canadians expresses its solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their allies in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois who have mobilized to stop the building of the Dakota Access pipeline by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (which owns a US$1.5 billion share in the pipeline).

The pipeline could carry up to 570,000 barrels per day of fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline would also cross 200 waterways, including under the Missouri River, upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation (which draws its drinking water from that river).

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the construction of the pipeline on July 25, construction began on August 10, and the water protection protests began on August 15. There is now a “spirit camp” at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers, plus a more recently established “Red Warrior Camp”.

Inside Climate News has reported, “A groundswell of Native American activists has temporarily shut down construction on a major new oil pipeline with an ongoing protest that has drawn around 1,200 people to Cannon Ball, N.D. Construction workers walked away from their bulldozers [on August 15] after protesters surrounded the equipment and called for an end to construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.”

The article explains, “The $3.8 billion pipeline at the heart of the protest would carry about half a million barrels of crude oil per day from the Bakken oil field to Illinois where it would link with other pipelines to transport the oil to Gulf Coast refineries and terminals. The protest was staged at a spot where the pipeline would pass beneath the Missouri River, just upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, a community of 8,500 along the Missouri River in North and South Dakota. Protesters from dozens of tribes across the country are now camping in tents, tepees and mobile homes at the Sacred Stone Camp a mile and a half from the construction site.”

Some news reports indicate that up to 2,000 people are now actively involved in this resistance. About 28 people have been arrested so far in efforts to stop construction of the pipeline.

A legal challenge is also underway that asserts the pipeline violates the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Oral arguments in this case will be heard on Wednesday [August 24] in Washington, D.C. That is also when the court is expected to rule on the request for a temporary injunction against the pipeline.

Another court case on behalf of fourteen Iowa landowners is also underway challenging the use of “eminent domain” to seize land for the pipeline. (Eminent domain in the U.S. is power of the government to take private property and convert it for public benefit in return for market compensation. The legal challenge asserts that Energy Transfer Partners/ Dakota Access LLC is not a utility and therefore does not have the authority to use eminent domain to build the pipeline.)

At a solidarity rally yesterday, people chanted “No Dakota Access Pipeline”, “Rezpect our Water.” and “We can’t drink oil. Keep it in the soil!”

Pipeline construction was stopped yesterday [August 18], but Energy Transfer Partners has vowed that construction will be completed by the end of this year.

You can follow this on Twitter under the hashtags #RezpectOurWater, #NoDAPL, and #DakotaAccessPipeline