Aŋpétu wašté. It’s time to take action! It’s now been more than six years since the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) began carrying oil and nearly a year and a half since the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the pipeline operator’s attempt to avoid producing a required Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Meanwhile, in violation of a separate court order, DAPL continues to operate illegally, without a federal easement. After a long series of unacceptable delays, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finally released the EIS for public input.
The just-released DEIS confirms everything we expected when we examined a heavily redacted draft provided to us many months ago. Prepared by a company with a clear conflict of interest (it’s a member of the American Petroleum Institute, which filed a legal brief in support of DAPL in our suit against the Army Corps), the DEIS addresses none of Standing Rock’s many concerns about this dangerous pipeline.
Our worries include the pipeline’s imminent threat to the Missouri River, dangerous problems with DAPL parent company Energy Transfer’s’ emergency response plans, its horrendous safety track record, lack of transparency with Standing Rock throughout the environmental review process, inaccurate characterizations of tribal consultation, and the potential destruction of sensitive wildlife habitat and sacred burial sites along the riverbank.
Earlier this year, U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders were joined by two other U.S. senators to submit a letter to the Corps seeking an explanation. The reply from Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, failed to adequately or honestly address our profound concerns. I then replied to Mr. Connor to restate and clarify each grievance in detail and demand a dramatic shift in approach.
Our pleas for a fair process have fallen on deaf ears, and we plan to take legal action. We’ll be sure to keep you informed as we move forward. In the meantime, it’s absolutely imperative that we flood the Army Corps with strong messages that make it clear that this illegal pipeline’s operations must be terminated. As the climate crisis worsens, we pride ourselves on defending the Earth on behalf of all humanity. Let’s stop DAPL before it spills and devastates our water, land, and community. Please take action now.
Wopila tanka — thank you for taking action today!
P.S. Please email the Army Corps of Engineers today. We’ve provided a pre-written message addressing key points, and you can also personalize it. This action is urgent and critical to defeating the Black Snake. Please stand with Standing Rock. Together, let’s shut this pipeline down!