With the help of celebrities and professional activists, protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota have attracted international attention. The shouting and violence have drawn sympathy from people who are hearing only one side of the story — the one told by activists. Were the full story to be heard, much, if not all, of that sympathy would vanish.
The activists tell an emotionally charged tale of greed, racism and misbehavior by corporate and government officials. But the real story of the Dakota Access Pipeline was revealed in court documents in September, and it is nothing like the activists’ tale. In fact, it is the complete opposite.
The record shows that Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, spent years working diligently with federal, state and local officials to route the pipeline safely and with the fewest possible disruptions. The contrast between the protesters’ claims and the facts on record is stunning.
Protesters claim that the pipeline was “fast-tracked,” denying tribal leaders the opportunity to participate in the process. In fact, project leaders participated in 559 meetings with community leaders, local officials and organizations to listen to concerns and fine-tune the route. The company asked for, and received, a tougher federal permitting process at sites along the Missouri River. This more difficult procedure included a mandated review of each water crossing’s potential effect on historical artifacts and locations.
Protesters claim that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consult tribal leaders as required by federal law. The record shows that the corps held 389 meetings with 55 tribes. Corps officials met numerous times with leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which initiated the lawsuit and the protests.
Protesters claim that the Standing Rock Sioux pursued meetings with an unresponsive Army Corps of Engineers. Court records show that the roles in that story were in fact reversed. The corps alerted the tribe to the pipeline permit application in the fall of 2014 and repeatedly requested comments from and meetings with tribal leaders only to be rebuffed over and over. Tribal leaders ignored requests for comment and canceled meetings multiple times.
In September 2014 alone, the corps made five unsuccessful attempts to meet with Standing Rock Sioux leaders. The next month, a meeting was arranged, but “when the Corps timely arrived for the meeting, Tribal Chairman David Archambault told them that the conclave had started earlier than planned and had already ended,” according to a federal judge. At a planned meeting the next month, the tribe took the pipeline off the agenda and refused to discuss it. This stonewalling by tribal leaders continued for a year and a half.
Typical of the misinformation spread during the protests is a comment made by Jesse Jackson, who recently joined the activists in North Dakota. He said the decision to reroute the pipeline so that it crossed close to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s water intake was “racism.”
He did not mention, possibly because he did not know, that the company is paying to relocate the tribe’s water intake to a new spot 70 miles from the location of the contested pipeline crossing.
The pipeline route was adjusted based on concerns expressed by locals — including other tribal leaders — who met with company and Army Corps of Engineers officials. The court record reveals that the Standing Rock Sioux refused to meet with corps officials to discuss the route until after site work had begun. That work is now 77 percent completed at a cost of $3 billion.
Taking a little money under the table from OPEC and SOROS no doupt
Odd how people protesting a pipeline being built on private property are heroes but ranchers protesting the government driving them off of THEIR LAND are terrorists.
One thing they didn’t tell you was that president elect Donald Trump had a personal financial interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Dakota Access pipeline company and Donald Trump have close financial ties
Maybe he’ll make a habit of divesting himself of any conflicts of interest that inconveniently come to the media’s attention. If that’s so, I wouldn’t count on him ever making good on his promise to release his tax returns after the audit is over. The revealed list of potential conflicts would be neverending, and some would probably be far more worrisome that this one.
@Greg: He probably has interests in railroads too, like Hillary’s benefactor Buffet. The fact of the matter, though, is that pipelines are safe, efficient and economical and there is no reason, other than the left’s ecological fascism, to oppose it.
The protesters were counting on the gov’t shutting them down because of the winter weather there.
But guess what?
The gov’t refuses to play the game.
You want to come to the Dakotas and freeze your butt off?
It gets really cold out there in them tee pees the protesters put up.
@Greg: Actually Greg, almost all Americans have a financial interest in the pipeline. The oil scheduled to flow through the pipe line is North Dakota crude. The oil is now transported by Burlington Northern Railroad currently owned by Obama buddy Warren Buffet. The transportation costs are 30% higher than pipe line costs. This should reduce the cost of gasoline for everyone. It also will pay the farmers who get royalties more money for sitting and farming all of the land all of these years. Everyone with a 401K IRA or similar retirement account will also benefit.