Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Debora Juarez released the following statements on the Trump administration’s decision to move forward on the Keystone and Dakota Access oil pipeline projects.
“The City of Seattle passed a resolution in September supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline threatening their land,” said Mayor Murray. “Since then, mayors and leaders from across the country have spoken out against this project. The pipeline threatens the Tribe’s cultural resources and is a significant environmental threat to the communities surrounding it. Opposition to the project has been widespread, as has opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline. These pipelines aim to extend our country’s dependence on oil at a time when American innovators and businesses are building the clean energy economy of the future. We must move our country away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, a fact that is underscored by 2016 being the hottest year since modern record-keeping began and the third consecutive year of record high temperatures. I urge President Trump to listen to scientists and reverse his actions on these pipelines. And I remain committed to standing in solidarity with tribal nations in their opposition to these projects and to do all we can in Seattle to build a clean energy future.”
“The Standing Rock Sioux are not protesters holding up a project, they are the people of this land, they are the protectors of this water,” said Councilmember Juarez. “Their voice in this decision is not a matter of political leanings, it is a matter of respecting our 200 years of federal Indian law and jurisprudence, including the 1868 Treaty of Ft. Laramie. The U.S. Constitution has upheld treaties as “the supreme law of the land.” As such, consultation and cooperation by the United States with tribal sovereign nations is required before any federal action is taken that affects treaty lands and resources. It is inappropriate and unlawful for any governmental leader to suggest that this process should be forced through or ignored while making critical decisions that affect treaty rights.”