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.
By Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News – Additional canceled projects have been added to the list of shelved fossil fuel infrastructure plans. These include Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s expansion and Targa’s oil terminal. The Oregon LNG project and pipeline, which had been rejected by local authorities, have also been canceled. The Dakota Access pipeline, which has been in flux, is currently delayed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, pending a review of possible new routes and a more thorough environmental impact assessment. Previously delayed Valero and Phillips 66 oil-by-rail projects have since been rejected by local officials
By Sara Rougeau for Socialist Worker – Both Native and non-Native protesters are putting themselves on the line to try to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and the stakes are high. Because of the violence of police, one young woman may lose her arm, and another could be blinded for life, and that’s only so far. But the latest “warning” from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department isn’t about threats to health and safety, but about the Oceti Sakowin Camp being taken over by “outside agitators”–more specifically, by “too many white hippies” supposedly looking for another festival like Burning Man to attend.
By Terray Sylvester for Reuters – North Dakota’s governor ordered the expulsion of thousands of Native American and environmental activists camped on federal property near an oil pipeline project they are trying to halt, citing hazards posed by harsh weather as a blizzard bore down on the area. The “emergency evacuation” order from Governor Jack Dalrymple came days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the site, set a Dec. 5 deadline for the demonstrators to vacate their encampment, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Bismarck, the state capital.
By Phil Mckenna for Inside Climate News -The American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International are stepping up calls for the Department of Justice to investigate what they feel is excessive use of force by law enforcement in North Dakota in response to protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. The renewed calls for action come after police used tactics Sunday night that included the use of rubber bullets, concussion grenades, tear gas and water cannons sprayed on hundreds of protesters for hours in freezing temperatures, according to live streamed video and protesters’ accounts.
By Staff of KFYR-TV – WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Office, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants all people camping on its property north of the Cannonball River to leave by Dec. 5. The Corps sent a letter to Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault Nov. 25, saying the decision is to protect the general public from violent confrontations between protesters and law enforcement in that area. He also says the decision was made to protect inhabitants of the camps from the harsh North Dakota winter and that medical, emergency and fire response teams cannot be provided.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The North Dakota pipeline is linked to North American companies and the U.S. government’s “crushing Venezuela” as they seek dirty oil extraction locally instead of doing business with the South American country that has the largest oil reserves in the world, longtime Native American activist Winona LaDuke said Sunday. “You know, all of the catastrophes that are happening elsewhere in the world have to do with the fact that North America is retooling its infrastructure
By Jim Naureckas for FAIR – Sorry, New York Times–when more than 470 people have been arrested opposing the pipeline since August, that’s not the news. Nor did the print edition headline—“16 Arrested at North Dakota Pipeline Protest as Tensions Continue”—add anything. No, the news in the story came in the second paragraph, where reporter Jonah Engel Bromwich wrote that “officials also defended their use of fire hoses against protesters the night before, despite the below-freezing weather.”