An Update on the Dakota Access Pipeline
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On December 4th, former President Barack Obama blocked the Dakota Access Pipeline’s construction, but with the recent election of President Trump, the project is set to resume. Protesters have once again reunited in full force to object to its construction, citing the threat it poses to the environment and the detriment it would have to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s sacred sites.
The nearly completed pipeline is not going to be built on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation, but the tribe argued that even though it isn’t on their land, it would contaminate their drinking water if the pipeline malfunctioned. It would also disrupt the sacred burial ground of the tribe’s ancestors. The decision to continue construction lies ultimately with the Army Corps, who are looking for an alternative route for the pipeline. Trump’s Executive Order cleared roadblocks, and though it did not order the construction to continue, it did ask the Army Corps for a quick response regarding the final path for the pipeline.
Supporters of the Dakota Access Pipeline claim it will bring as many as 12,000 temporary jobs and boost the local economy. In addition, it will be a more efficient and cost-effective means of transferring crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois, and cut down on pollution during transportation.
After the Executive Order was issued, the Standing Rock Sioux asked the protesters to leave, as they need to clean the protest sites before the spring floods arrive. The next hearing for the pipeline is on February 6th, where a federal judge is set to preside over the case between the Energy Transfer Partners, the sponsors of the pipeline, and the government.