Today, Senator John Hoeven issued a statement declaring that the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army had directed the Army Corps to proceed with the final easement necessary to complete the proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While this news is disappointing, it is unfortunately not surprising. It is also not a formal issuance of the easement—it is notification that the easement is imminent. The Corps still must take into consideration the various factors mentioned in the Presidential Memorandum, notify Congress, and actually grant the easement.
If and when the easement is granted, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will vigorously pursue legal action. We have to this date received no formal notice that the EIS has been suspended or withdrawn. To abandon the EIS would amount to a wholly unexplained and arbitrary change based on the President’s personal views and, potentially, personal investments. Furthermore, the Army Corps lacks statutory authority to simply stop the preparation of the EIS and issue the easement. We stand ready to fight this battle against corporate interest superseding government procedure and the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans.
– Statement by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Full statement by Sen. Hoeven
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven issued the following statement after speaking today with Vice President Pence and Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer:
“Today, the Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer informed us that he has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. This will enable the company to complete the project, which can and will be built with the necessary safety features to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others downstream.
“Building new energy infrastructure with the latest safeguards and technology is the safest and most environmentally sound way to move energy from where it is produced to where people need it.
“We are also working with the Corps, the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior and the Department of Homeland Security to secure additional federal law enforcement resources to support state and local law enforcement. On Sunday, 20 additional Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers arrived at Standing Rock to assist local authorities. Also, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council has asked the protesters to leave the campsite on Corps land.
“This has been a difficult issue for all involved, particularly those who live and work in the area of the protest site, and we need to bring it to a peaceful resolution.”
Posted by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle- Lakota)