The DAPL Battle Is Not Over
On Sunday, December 4, 2016, the United States Army Corps of Engineers denied a key permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline that would’ve allowed the pipeline to cross the Missouri River and Lake Oahe. This is an important victory that temporarily halts the construction and invasion of indigenous lands. For those who have placed their lives on the line to block this pipeline and protect the water, this is a moment to celebrate and enjoy a hard fought victory.
However, the fight around the Dakota Access Pipeline is not over. The denied easement to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe can be appealed by Energy Transfer Partners, and the appeal will be heard by a Trump administration that has given every indication they will green light DAPL as fast as possible. Indeed, Energy Transfer Partners has stated that they are “fully committed” to completing the pipeline along the current route. Instead of celebrating, those of us who have been allies to this resistance must now take action to stop the DAPL for good.
So how can you get involved in the fight? For starters, the Sacred Stone Camp has a list of concerns centered on the environmental impact statement, such as their involvement in and the scope of the environmental analysis. In addition, Sacred Stone Camp has identified other areas of concern, such as how the changing administration may play a role or how Energy Transfer Partners’ suit against the Army may affect the pipeline. Placing pressure on the Army to conduct a thorough, inclusive environmental impact statement that properly examines the potential consequences of this pipeline is also key. In addition, you can place pressure on the Trump administration and Congress by calling your representatives at every level to tell them that you do not support the DAPL.
Finally, you should place pressure on those funding the DAPL to divest from the pipeline and focus on investments that do not pollute our environment or violate indigenous peoples’ rights. The most effective way to do this is closing your accounts with any banks funding the pipeline and letting them know why. Targeting investors is especially critical right now, as many of the contracts for DAPL will expire on January 1, 2017, if there is no oil flowing through the pipeline.
Those who’ve fought on the front lines for this moment should celebrate and enjoy their victory. For everyone else, the work is just getting started.