By Karl Herchenroeder for PJ Media – Protesters in Louisiana say they are ready to put their “bodies on the line” if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves construction of Energy Transfer Partners’ Bayou Bridge Pipeline, which is the tail end of the Dakota Access Pipeline’s network. “If the permits get issued and it’s a ‘yes,’ then we’re going to do whatever it is we have to do to protect our wetlands, to protect our families from this company and from this particular project,” Cherri Foytlin, director of the activist group Bold Louisiana, told PJM in an interview last week. “If we have to put our bodies on the line, we’ll do that.” The $670 million, 160-mile pipeline would run through 11 Louisiana parishes encompassing the Atchafalaya Basin, which is the largest wetland and swamp in the country. The pipeline would allow transport of oil and gas from North Dakota to refineries in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast, while also providing access to a major hub in Texas. The Atchafalaya Basin is already home to a series of pipelines serving oil and gas companies that employ more than 64,000 people in the state, according to the Times-Picayune.
By Staff of Unicorn Riot – Authorities in South Dakota and Iowa confirmed Tuesday that someone apparently used a torch to burn a hole through empty sections of the pipeline at aboveground shut-off valve sites. Mahaska County Sheriff Russell Van Renterghem said the culprit in Iowa appeared to have gotten under a fence around the facility, but Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Brown said the site in South Dakota wasn’t fenced. The Iowa incident was discovered March 13 and the South Dakota incident Friday [March 17]. Pipeline operators are asked to report security breaches to the National Response Center. Data on the center’s website show no reports from ETP this month.
By Michael Negro for The Huffington Post – Everyone knew that in less than 24 hours the camp was scheduled to be raided by a militarized force, which consisted of local, state and federal police departments, Homeland Security, the National Guard, the Bureau of Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and, reportedly, the NSA, among other law enforcement agencies. For days, few corporate media outlets had been seen near the camp making it all the more important for the independent and citizen journalists to report and document and witness what was an eventuality: the violent destruction of the camp. In a mere 10 months, Standing Rock came to symbolize so much more than a pipeline fight.
By Andrew M Harri for Bloomberg – Energy Transfer Partners LP cleared another legal hurdle with oil soon to flow through the Dakota Access pipeline. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington rejected a Native American tribe’s request to put the project on pause while it asks an appeals court to block it. Last week, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said the tribe waited too long to argue that the conduit threatened to make lake water impure and unsuitable for their religious practices. Attorneys for the ETP-led Dakota Access LLC consortium building the pipeline told the court Monday that oil could be introduced as soon as March 20. The 1,172-mile pipe will carry crude from shale oil-rich northwestern North Dakota to a terminal in Patoka, Illinois.
By Blake Nicholson for Associated Press – BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A federal judge declined Tuesday to temporarily stop construction of the final section of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, clearing the way for oil to flow as soon as next week. The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes pledged to continue their legal fight against the project, even after the pipeline begins operating. The tribes had asked U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permission for Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners to lay pipe under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The stretch under the Missouri River reservoir in southern North Dakota…
By Michael J. Sainato for Counter Punch – On March 3, MinnPost reported that four memos were pulled from the Department of the Interior website on the Army Corps of Engineers after Donald Trump took office, citing their removal signifies, “an attempt to make opaque some serious shortcomings in the Corps’ performance on DAPL that are little known and less understood.” The Dakota Access Pipeline, enabled by Barack Obama signing a bill in 2015 to lift a ban on U.S. Oil exports creating the demand for domestic pipelines to be built for oil export, emerged as a movement for indigenous rights and environmentalism, as camps close to where the pipeline is being constructed under Lake Oahe in North Dakota swelled with water protectors trying to halt its construction in 2016
By Michael J. Sainato for Counter Punch – On March 3, MinnPost reported that four memos were pulled from the Department of the Interior website on the Army Corps of Engineers after Donald Trump took office, citing their removal signifies, “an attempt to make opaque some serious shortcomings in the Corps’ performance on DAPL that are little known and less understood.” The Dakota Access Pipeline, enabled by Barack Obama signing a bill in 2015 to lift a ban on U.S. Oil exports creating the demand for domestic pipelines to be built for oil export, emerged as a movement for indigenous rights and environmentalism
By Phil Mckenna for Inside Climate News – The Army Corps of Engineers granted a final easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline late Wednesday. The action overturned an earlier ruling by the Army Corps to halt construction until it conducted a more complete environmental assessment of the project’s Missouri River crossing. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is a half-mile downstream from the crossing, says the pipeline threatens its water supply and sacred sites. Its opposition triggered months of protests. An environmental impact review initiated by the Army Corps in the final weeks of the Obama administration could have delayed the project for years. That review is now canceled.
By J. Gabriel WareJames Trimarco for Yes! Magazine – The movement to stop the controversial Dakota Access pipeline through financial activism took an important step forward today, as the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to approve a bill that terminates a valuable city contract with Wells Fargo. The bank, one of the largest in the United States, has provided more than $450 million in credit to the companies building the pipeline. The move makes Seattle the first city to divest from a financial institution because of its role in the Dakota Access pipeline, a $3.8 billion project that would run from western North Dakota to Illinois, and is fiercely opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Wells Fargo is one of 17 banks directly financing the project.
By Alexandra Jacobo for Nation of Change – The National Guard and Morton County Sheriff’s Department violently clashed with protesters on a day we are supposed to remember a man who dedicated his life to non-violence. On Martin Luther King day this past Monday, officials fired less-than-lethal projectiles and pepper spray at water protectors and arrested three for trespassing. 200 people marched on the Dakota Access Pipeline horizontal drill pad. According to the Morton County Sheriff Department, the three individuals (who have not yet been named) that were arrested are charged with criminal trespassing onto private property, inciting a riot and resisting arrest.
By Staff of Sierra Club. A year ago, the Dakota Access Pipeline seemed inevitable. But you helped show the world what it means to build a movement. On April 1, 2016, LaDonna Bravebull Allard took a stand and founded the Sacred Stone Camp. 15,000 Water Protectors joined her on the ground where their prayers and songs were met by a forceful militarized police response. Millions more sent letters to the White House and rallied around the country. Following a major victory for Water Protectors in December, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) was forced to stop construction of the pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux’s ancestral homelands until an environmental review is conducted that includes public input. Still, ETP isn’t about to give up their $3.8 billion pipeline without a fight.
By Lisa Song for Inside Climate News – When President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month, his pro-drilling, anti-climate action energy policy will buoy the oil industry. But it will also face staunch resistance from a pipeline opposition movement that gathered momentum, particularly with this year’s successful showdown over the Dakota Access pipeline, and shows no signs of slowing. Local grassroots action, governments’ environmental concerns and market forces have stopped or delayed dozens of fossil fuel projects since the high-profile Keystone XL pipeline was cancelled in November 2015, and activists are continuing to oppose at least a dozen oil and gas pipelines around the country.
By Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright for The Leap. The Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) is yet another violent variable in the equation of environmental racism that plagues the United States, and the world—to the peril of Indigenous and low-wealth communities of color everywhere. Native lands, water, sacred sites, and sovereignty have been sacrificed to “spare” majority white areas north of Bismarck, North Dakota from the myriad risks of this pipeline. Now, in what can only be characterized as abject avarice, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP)—the principal corporation behind DAPL—is pushing for expedited completion of the project, despite the fact that their major investors and stockholders inevitably stand to lose a significant amount of money. That’s because the Army Corps of Engineers, the key federal agency responsible for DAPL, announced on December 4th that they are denying a critical easement and associated permit required for the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, pending further environmental analysis. The financial implications of this decision are both far reaching and profound, and may signal the death knell of DAPL.
By Tim Scott for Truthout – The peaceful Native Water Protectors who have been resisting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on sacred land belonging to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have succeeded in winning federal accommodations to temporarily halt DAPL construction, but the energy company behind DAPL has pledged to proceed (with state support). Knowing the enduring historic and structural nature of this modern struggle — a struggle in which the Water Protectors have courageously confronted violent local, state and private militarized forces, inspiring support from thousands of US military veterans — is vital to understanding its significance.
By Bob Kinzel for VPR – Eight people were arrested as several hundred protesters gathered in downtown Montpelier Monday to voice their continued opposition to a controversial oil pipeline in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux have been joined by protesters from around the country to fight a pipeline that they say could contaminate water supplies and desecrate sacred grounds. Over the weekend, the U.S. Corps of Engineers said it would consider alternative routes for the pipeline, designed to transport half a million barrels of oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois. The Obama Administration has called for a comprehensive environmental review of the project.