The Trump administration says #YesDAPL—ignoring threats to water and tribal lands (again)
The Army Corps of Engineers is doubling down on its support of the Dakota Access Pipeline, concluding in a report released Friday that it has no environmental concerns that warrant shutting it down. A federal judge ordered the additional analysis last summer in response to a suit brought by tribal and environmental advocacy groups, which have helped turn the project into a high-profile battle for environmental justice and indigenous rights. Pipeline opponents argue that the Army Corps did not fully consider the risks to the water supplies of nearby tribal communities, or their fishing and hunting rights. The Obama administration previously denied a permit for a portion of the pipeline that crossed federal land, but President Trump reversed that decision soon after taking office. The pipeline, which is now up and running, carries around 570,000 barrels of oil per day across multiple waterways. At their peak, #NoDAPL protests, largely led by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, resulted in a protest camp near North Dakota’s Standing Rock reservation that lasted months. The administration’s latest decision to back the pipeline is a blow to their resistance—but unlikely to be the last word.