After nearly a year of protests, debates, legal battles and government stalling and backpedaling, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will grant an easement needed for construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline to continue, despite the fact that critical environmental-impact studies have not been completed.
As CNN reports, President Donald Trump signed executive actions just weeks ago to advance approval of this pipeline as well as others, pushing aside the ineffective efforts of the Obama administration to stop it.
Trump’s order directed “the acting secretary of the Army to expeditiously review requests for approvals to construct and operate the Dakota Access Pipeline in compliance with the law.”
Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer is doing just that. He called granting the easement a “final step” in meeting the tasks of Trump’s executive action.
“The decision was made based on a sufficient amount of information already available which supported approval to grant the easement request,” the Army said.
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I just had to read that three times in a row, because it looks like a bunch of bullshit jibber-jabber to me.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has protested this pipeline from the beginning, saying that it will have a direct environmental impact on the tribe’s water supply. They have vowed not to go down without a fight and have promised a legal battle.
Jan Hasselman, an attorney with Earthjustice who is representing the tribe, told CNN, “Trump’s reversal of [President Obama’s] decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian tribes and a violation of treaty rights. Trump and his administration will be held accountable in court.”
Trump’s decision gives Energy Transfer Partners subsidiary Dakota Access permission to drill under Lake Oahe in a section of the Missouri River in North Dakota that is half a mile upstream from the tribe’s reservation and supplies water to the Standing Rock Sioux as well as 17 million people living downstream.
Of course the administration doesn’t care about this, as it is showing by advancing both the Dakota Access Pipeline as well as the Keystone XL, both of which will carry oil right through where people live. As Greenpeace says, the president is looking out for the rich.
“We are less than two weeks into this administration, and already Trump has put on full display a blatant disregard for indigenous sovereignty, public health and public outcry,” the environmental organization said. “This decision to smash through the [environmental-impact statement] process is nothing but a reward to Trump’s corporate, oil-industry cronies.”
And let us not forget the parallels between what is happening in Standing Rock and what is happening in Flint, Mich. Both areas are populated mostly by people of color, and both are fighting simply for the availability of clean drinking water.
While the president was quick with his pen to get the Army Corps to let Dakota Access do its thing, we still don’t know what the Environmental Protection Agency is going to do about the water in Flint.
Environmental racism at its finest.
But that’s y’all’s president, though.
Read more at CNN.